Look here, telling a story in 2017
TED talk | Using your voice is a political choice (Here she comes off as a bit too rehearsed)
If this is a fact, all other poets in USA have become “lesser poets”.
This kind of thinking is ruled by capitalism needing sales arguments (“the Best, top10, bestseller, largest number of reviews, most fameous” etc) outside of inherent quality, and by a privileged “elite” needing a concept separating them from common folks.
It is bull.
The speech-poem at the 2021 inauguration was a commission and fulfilled its purpose – which to my mind is basically reminding the US people (and the world watching) that theirs is a nation of poetry readers and respect for the craft of poetic oration. But it was not very good as art – more like craft. It lacked the juice of the poet’s own heart and need, and was way, way too smooth and uncontroversial. She was among other things asked not to mention the departing president in any negative way – which might be natural for a justice seeking 22 years old.
So, on all accounts – by comparison, and by the ONE work spurring this question (scant hours after the inauguration poem) – she is not.
What she is, though, is something so rare today as a young poet rubbing elbows with power. And how that came to be you can read about here:
and in the time to come… many, many other places. Now that not just USA has seen her, but the rest of the world too.
BUT, even as I like the idea of power listening to poetry, I despise the thought of poetry softening the impact of power.
UPDATE: The internet disagrees with me.
In Denmark too. “De bedrevidende poeters klub”.