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Yale Poet offers 'praise song' for inauguration
WASHINGTON -- Poet Elizabeth Alexander has invoked small moments and great sacrifices that have led to President Barack Obama's inauguration day.
Obama asked the African-American studies professor from Yale to compose and read a poem on the steps of the Capitol this afternoon. Calling it a "praise song for the day," Alexander exhorted a crowd of more than a million to sing the names of those who let Americans walk forward, knowing that anything can be done.
Alexander has written four books of poetry and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for the collection "American Sublime." She and Obama became friends when they were both teaching at the University of Chicago in the 1990s.
Alexander is the fourth poet to read at a presidential inauguration, joining Robert Frost, Maya Angelou and Miller Williams.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)