Inaugural poet try-outs

UPDATE: I’ll continue to count votes up through midnight tonight, Nov. 12, EST. If you have alternate quotes to suggest, you’re free to use the comments, but they won’t be included in the vote tally unless you use the “Other” option in the poll, because I’m way too lazy to figure percentages myself. And of course if you’ve already voted and are curious to see how your choices are faring, click on “View Results” at the bottom of the poll. You may have to refresh the page first.

The blogosphere is abuzz with ideas about which poet Obama should invite to read at the inauguration. He is, however, a rare example of a politician who actually reads poetry for pleasure, so I imagine he doesn’t really need any help from us. But I thought it might be fun to hold some try-outs in any case. The following poll (which subscribers can only see by clicking through to the post, or by going to the page on PollDaddy) consists of randomly ordered pieces of advice from 20 different, living American poets. (At least, I think they’re all living. If not, we may have to summon Nancy Reagan.) You can vote for more than one quote, but please select only your favorites. Tomorrow or the next day I’ll count up the votes and reveal the authors.