I still remember how fascinating Maya Angelou's poem, On the Pulse of Morning, was at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993.
I was at work so I did not hear all of Elizabeth Alexander's poem at President Obama's inauguration. I found it at poets.org the title is Praise Song for the Day. According to shmoop.com a praise song is a traditional form of African poetry. Apparently, Alexander was praising the day as well as the people of America who built this country: those who laid the train tracks - the Chinese, those who picked the cotton - the Africans, those who picked lettuce - the Mexicans. Read the interesting interpretation on shmoop.com.