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James Franco Writes Poem for Obama to Mark Inauguration Day

January 22, 2013 (4:44 am) GMT
The '127 Hours' actor pens an ode entitled 'Obama in Asheville' to the re-elected president on the occasion of his second inauguration in Washington D.C. on January 21.
James Franco

Actor penned a poem for Barack Obama to mark the president's inauguration on January 21. The 34-year-old star of "" was commissioned by Yahoo! News to write an ode to the re-elected president as he took oath for his 2nd term in Washington D.C.

Franco explained, "I was asked to write something for the inauguration of his second term, but what could I write? I was in Asheville, studying writing, but not the political sort; I write confessions and characters, and that sort of thing."

In the poem entitled "Obama in Asheville", he recalled the first time he met Obama when he was invited to the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. "He knew me from ''. I asked him for advice... I wondered how he dealt with detractors. He smiled his smile and said, 'Humor'," he wrote.

In his ode to the president, he called Obama "a great servant of the people," saying it's his "essential kindness" that sets him apart from other political leaders. "If I were to act in the film about Obama, all I would need to get down, aside from the outer stuff - and I know that's important - is his essential kindness... the goodness at its core... I'd win the Academy Award if I just captured that," he continued.

Other poets tapped by Yahoo! News to write an ode to Obama included Pulitzer Prize winners, James Tate and Paul Muldoon, multi-awarded Japanese-American poet Brenda Shaughnessy, and National Book Critics Circle Award nominee Kevin Young. Franco, who will soon publish his own poetry book, was included to bring in a little glamor to the writing project.

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