And this from the poet himself, Joseph Charles MacKenzie, elucidating on his epic, is magnificent:
Already we have that Scottish rhythm and, indeed, the whole decor of Sir Walter Scott’s world. I greatly appreciate that you were able to find a certain levity in my poem, as my themes are the very opposite of light. Indeed, I aimed for a poem that would be “souriant” as opposed to grave, even if my content reflects the troubles into which our nation has descended of late. The structure is actually quite complex, so I wanted the reader not to get lost in the depths, but rather enjoy the apparent seamlessness of the whole. So no apologies necessary as your smile is just exactly what I had hoped to achieve. We Americans need a bit of relief from our woes and divisions, so a bit of levity is something we can all of us appreciate at this time. Past inaugural poems have been pretentiously serious and stiff, even bureaucratic and, because modernist, utterly boring.