Louisiana Governor Nixes State Poem

7.21.06

Kathleen Blanco, the governor of Louisiana, recently vetoed a bill to designate “I Love My Louisiana” as the state poem. The twenty-three-line poem was written by seventy-two-year-old Prairieville resident James Ellis Richardson. The bill had received support from the state’s legislature.

Before making her decision, Governor Blanco consulted Louisiana poet laureate Brenda Marie Osbey, who is also a visiting assistant professor at Louisiana State University. Osbey wrote in a letter to Blanco's legal adviser that the poem “lacked sufficient literary merit” and did not feature “an understanding of the rudiments of modern or contemporary poetry.”

The poem ends with the lines: “I somehow feel so primitive / To her majesty so grand.”