Noted poet James Franco was asked by venerable literary institution Yahoo News to compose a poem about Obama’s inauguration. Who knew Yahoo News was such a patron of the arts? Well, apparently, Yahoo News couldn’t help but wonder “what would happen if inaugural poets might be inspired to raise their games.”
Yahoo News asked several poets—including Pulitzer Prize-winners Paul Muldoon and James Tate—to contribute to what it claims is “not a poetry slam” but which I like to think is exactly that. Nothing says 2013 like poetry slams. Very current. Beyond the actual poets that Yahoo asked to contribute, James Franco was also selected, “for a little glamour.” And since inaugural poetry is performed, Yahoo also shares with us a recording of “James Franco [going] lo-fi in a shadowy amateur vid that shows a whole new side of the matinee idol.”
How is the poem? Well, I haven’t studied at all the illustrious institutions that james Franco has in just the last year alone, so who am I to judge, really? I am no one. I am certainly not “Frank” who James Franco asked for poetry-writing advice. I am also not Katie Holmes or Claire Danes who get mentions in the poem. I am no one. Barack Obama wouldn’t know me like he knows James Franco from Spiderman. Yahoo News certainly isn’t trying to become a patron of my kind of art. So, I won’t criticize the poem. I will just offer it for you all to read. So that you can criticize it yourself. And you will. Because how can you not? It is a poem by James Franco. It is begging to for criticism.
But anyway, Yahoo points out that “President Obama himself has commissioned an inaugural poem from Richard Blanco, a gay engineer and Cuban immigrant.” Yahoo wonders how he will “measure up.” I mean, clearly, he is no James Franco. Even though it sounds like James Franco would probably love to play him in a movie. If that is something james Franco even does any more.