Richard Blanco, the 44-year-old Madrid-born Cuban-American poet who recited at President Obama's second inauguration, is only the fifth poet — Robert Frost (1961), Maya Angelou (1993), William Miller (1997) and Elizabeth Alexander (2009) were the previous ones — reading at a presidential inauguration. He is also the first Hispanic as well as the first openly gay one.
According to The Miami Herald, Geysa Blanco, Richard's mom, thought the poet was kidding and he told her he'd be reciting at Obama's 2013 inauguration. "He said, 'mom, I have news for you,'" Mrs. Blanco said, recalling the "between English and Spanish" telephone call from her son.
"It took me 10 minutes to remember what the word for inauguration is in Spanish," the poet said according to the Herald — as he was overwhelmed by the good news from Obama's presidential inauguration committee (Obama said in a statement that Blanco's work represents "the great strength and diversity of the American people").
Read Richard Blanco's One Today, the official poem of the 2013 presidential inauguration, below:
One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,