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On the Pulse of Morning

“On the Pulse of Morning” is a poem that Maya Angelou read at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993. With her public recitation, Angelou became the second poet in history to read a poem at a presidential inauguration, and the first African American and woman. (Robert Frost was the first inaugural poet, at the 1961 inauguration of John F. Kennedy.) Angelou’s audio recording of the poem won the 1994 Grammy Award in the “Best Spoken Word” category, resulting in more fame and recognition for her previous works, and broadening her appeal.

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