The 2012 Poet Laureate is Cody Putman. His poem is titled "Efflorescence."

We are the sweet darling dreams of children

Our days spent frolicking outdoors

Childhood fantasies becoming a reality

We still giggle and leap in the snow

Though the snow bites and numbs our skin.

Even when those sugar crystal snowflakes

End up just cold and tasteless,

We will still live in awe


We are shiny new satellites

preparing to take our place amongst the stars.

Our technicians over our design

Programming our path and functions.

Ensuring sufficient energy

They repair our dings and dents

Patting our carapace gently,


With anxious fervor

They await our launch day


We are thoroughbreds at Keeneland’s gate.

We snort and stomp

In a blur of unbridled excitement.

The joyous array of pomp

Befitting for such a regal circumstance.

The bugle will sound to Elgar’s tune

And the time will come for the gates to burst open

A fresh, clear, and open track lies ahead of us

Our muscles contract and stretch

And a torment of adrenaline

Sparks our first bound forward.

We have made it this far, the track is ours

Let the wind and the symphonic roar of the crowd

Carry you to victory.


We are the powerful vocals

Of one mighty, soulful tune.

Sweet serenades of



and Prize

Wash through hearts and beings

With the ability to bring




Our tune builds a home,

A family, a society.

This melody, more than moving,

Is an aesthetic explosion of expression

With the power to share the world


We are a garden of budding flowers

A vivid arrangement of efflorescence

A blanket of coquettish color

Windswept, we flirt with the eyes of passersby.

Our alluring aromatherapy will make someone stop


And sigh

We will be picked someday

Thorns ignored

Beauty and fragrance forever enjoyed


We are the splish splash

Swirling, swindling streams of water

Taking different paths and purpose

Spreading far and wide

We will quench this world’s thirst for direction,

Creativity, and innovation.

In the end, we will not look much alike

But we will all rain down to earth together


We are the artist in front of a blank canvas

Our brush lies dormant

As we stare at past creations

In envy.

Let us dive in,

Drown the canvas

In pirouettes and patches of color.

With each smudge

Each smear

And streak

We show ourselves to the world

There is no fear

Only pure bliss

In this brilliant birth

We make the masterpieces of tomorrow

We are prospective painters.

The brush in our hands

Colors and styles

Patterns and shapes

All at our disposal

We look forward

in promise

And dip into

a palette of possibilities.


-Cody Putman

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