Jon Stewart tries to skewer the whole ceremony, as always with mixed results, but the bit on the Alexander is comic gold at about 7:30.

And Dr. Boli writes a decent parody, but you can skip to the last two lines if pressed for time.

SOMEWHERE A POET scratches out a line.

Somewhere a teacher says Take up your pencils.

Somewhere a secretary says Ow my wrist hurts.

Somewhere a clerk says Welcome to Burger King how may I help you.

Somewhere a chicken waits to cross the road because he says I must see what is on the other side,

Stands on the brink on the brim on the cusp on the edge on the side on the border.

Praise the poet for speaking with the voice of the people.

Praise the poet for writing a poem that speaks as the people speak.

Praise the people for speaking in the words of poets.

Praise the people for standing still politely.

Praise the poem for avoiding rhyme and rhythm.

Praise the poem for being written in prose.

We shall have no poetry here.

I’ll admit that a lot of contemporary American poetry leaves me feeling underwhelmed. I’ve spent enough time studying poetry to realize that most poems simply aren’t.

But surely for the most historic inauguration since George Washington we could have scrounged up something, in verse, that had even a long shot at lasting through the ages? (Or at least through next week? And not in sarcastic and parodic responses. Those don’t count.) Surely.