Robert Pinsky Offers His “Promposal” Poem on ‘Colbert’

We’re in the middle of Prom season right now, which means that basically, if you need a corsage for everyday use, you’re probably out of luck at the moment. It also means the rise of the trend piece-bait that is the “promposal.” The promposal, for the uninitiated, is the process of using elaborate and possibly expensive measures to ask a prospective date to the most overhyped social event of your formative years. Someone will probably point out that this is a “Millennial” thing to do, because that’s how you get people to read your stuff now, I guess?

Anyway, promposals can be pretty intense and elaborate and occasionally uncomfortably ostentatious, and range from arrangement of tealights tastefully in the askee’s room to ordering a pizza for the askee, with the pepperoni arranged in a manner that spells out the word “PROM?” Some kids ask the marching band to accompany the proposal, some make YouTube videos, some even hire promposal consultants, like wedding planners, to arrange the ask. Crazy, right?

This week, on The Colbert Report, the subject came up, and the consensus around promposals was to go the more tasteful, elegant route. And who better to offer an example than three-time Poet Laureate of the United States, the great Robert Pinsky? It’s no “Impossible to Tell” or “Ginza Samba,” but Pinsky’s promposal, with its images of voluptuous waves and calls of ships returning to harbor would totally be a winning prom-night ask. Tell Pinsky he can pick me up in his dad’s Mustang around 6. I’ll bring the corsage. Watch him recite the poem below.

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