I haven't yet met anyone else who likes this poem. The comment under the You Tube video read: "DUUUUUUMB." (Actually, I am paraphrasing, the real comment had more Us). "Praise Song" isn't one of the poems I love, but here is why I think it is FANTASTIC: the poem works in order to be able to use adjectives. "Praise Song" is built on work thus it [re-]affirms the substantiality of language--the idea that you can't just throw words around. The first adjectives are careful: "wooden," "oil," "dirt." They are all also nouns. The poem is careful, unlike politicians, not to suggest anything it can't make material. At first only "words" are assigned adjectives that are not also nouns. Words are "spiny" and "smooth." These adjectives serve not to increase the ethereal nature of words, but to make words tactile. Finally we get to, "Say it plain." Alexander didn't write "Say it plainly" which would have been more correct, she changed the adverb "plainly" to an adjective "plain" which is more natural. This opens the poem up to the possibility of adjectives. Adjectives are necessary, but they have to be "plain" and sturdy, like trustworthy furniture.
Then we get the pivotal line: "What if the mightiest word is love?" The most important word in this sentence is not "love" but "mightiest." The weight falls on the adjective. This statement would be meaningless if you didn't first believe in the solidity of the poet's adjectives. This line is built on previous toil just as the Unites States is built on the work of the poem's subjects, the "many" (many is a pronoun here, not an adjective as it refers to actual people) who have died for this day. Alexander leaves us with "today's sharp sparkle." Two adjectives make up the thing--but it isn't a thing really. The closest analogy is just "this winter air." It's the future and it's a promise: "any thing can be made, any sentence begun." Alexander is careful to separate "any" and "thing." Anything is ethereal. Any thing is all encompassing and real. Everyone has been lied to. Promises are easy and meaningless. What is difficult and meaningful is convincing someone who has been lied to over and over that you intend to keep your promise, that any future failing on your part with be unanticipated and struggled against. "Praise Song" does this. Solid poem.