Friday, January 22, 2016

Poetry Friday: For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey

Head over to A Teaching Life
for this week's roundup of poetry love.
Thanks for hosting,Tara!

I just looked and it's been almost two months since I posted to Poetry Friday.  Even when I don't post, I love stopping by and enjoying your contributions.  The book I'm sharing today was recommended by fellow blogger, Earl, in a comment to my November post about the the gorgeous picture book, One Today.

I requested this slim (only 112 pages) memoir, For All of Us, One Today:  An Inaugural Poet's Journey, from the library on Earl's recommendation.  I finished it this week while at the eye doctor with my husband.  Did you know that when Richard Blanco was chosen as Inaugural Poet that he was charged to write three poems in three weeks?  This memoir chronicles his journey from December 12 to the inauguration.  It includes "America," written for his first creative writing graduation course, and the three poems submitted to the Presidential Inaugural Committee:  "What We Know of Country," "Mother Country," and "One Today."  Each short chapter is introduced by a line from the poem, "One Today."

Blanco's words from the final pages of the book are inspiring:
 "...Indeed, our country is a sunflower with millions of petals around a center we can't always see or always understand, but one flower nonetheless, one story, the story we are all born into.  A story we all have to continue writing together until we are not just one today, but one every day.

"I had left Maine with a single poem to offer my country that I didn't quite understand.  I returned as an American, driving back home through the pines of Maine under one moon but with a thousand more stars and poems for me - for us all- to write, for us."

I loved this memoir, but if memoirs aren't your cup of tea, I must put in another plug for the picture book, One Today by Richard Blanco and illustrated by Dave Pilkey.  Run, don't walk to your computer to request it from your library or dash to your favorite indie bookstore to order it.  You won't be disappointed!  If my words haven't convinced you, then read this review at Librarian's Quest by blogger, Xena's mom, and enter her One Today giveaway to win a free copy of the book.


  1. I know One Today, but didn't know about the memoir, Ramona. I'll put it on my list. What a challenge for him, but it sounds as if he was satisfied at the end. Thanks, so nice to see you back!

  2. I just received One, but the memoir is new to me, too. Thank you! And...welcome back to Poetry Friday!

  3. Didn't realize there was a memoir. Did enjoy the One Today PB, so I must look for the memoir. Thanks for featuring it!

  4. I listened to the inauguration poem twice and was mesmerized by the message and the ending line: hope—a new constellation
    waiting for us to map it, waiting for us to name it—together. This speech speaks of hope, collaboration, and resilience. I did not know about the book One Today so thank you for all of this to read and think about.

  5. Thanks for sharing about Margie's giveaway. And every time I read about One Today, I just want to rewatch the video. If you love his poems, check out the video for his poem he wrote about marriage equality: