Gorman, 22, offered a hopeful vision for a deeply divided country with his poem “The Hill We Climb”.
In one of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ most talked about moments inauguration, poet Amanda Gorman summoned terrible and triumphant images on Wednesday as she cried out to the world “Even though we cry, we have grown.”
Gorman, 22, is the youngest poet in U.S. history to mark the transition presidential power, offering an optimistic vision for a deeply divided country on Wednesday with his poem The Hill We Climb.
A resident of Los Angeles, she joins the ranks of previous inaugural poets Robert Frost, Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander.
“Being American is more than a pride that we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we fix it, ”Gorman said in a short poem that was critically acclaimed on social media.
“We will not go back to what was. We are heading towards what will be, a bruised country, but whole. Benevolent, but daring. Fierce and free. “
Speaking on the steps of the United States Capitol just two weeks after a violent mob besieged the seat of government with Confederate flags, homemade bombs and a noose, Gorman said Americans could overcome hatred.
“While democracy can be temporarily delayed, it can never be defeated definitively,” Gorman said. “Let us leave behind a better country than the one we have left,” Gorman said. “We will raise this wounded world into a wonderful world.”
“The new dawn blooms as we release it,” said Gorman, who was named the first National American Youth Laureate in 2017.
Aware of the past, she wore caged bird earrings and ring – a tribute to Angelou’s classic memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – given to her by a friend Orpah Winfrey. close to the late writer.
“I have never been so proud to see another young woman stand up! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou applauds – and so am I., ”Winfrey tweeted.
– Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 20, 2021
Invited to the inauguration late last month by First Lady Jill Biden, Gorman has read on official occasions before – including a July 4 celebration when supported by the Boston Pops Orchestra. She also expressed her desire to present herself at a future inauguration, on a much larger scale, an ambition that she expressed firmly in her poem.
“We, the successors of a country and a time, where a skinny black girl, descended from slaves and raised by a single mother, can dream of becoming president. Only to end up reciting for one person.
John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also had poets read at their inauguration.
Acclaimed critics from across the country and across the political spectrum, including Republican strategist Lincoln Project and Stacey Abrams, Democratic organizer and candidate for governor of Georgia, said, “Amanda Gorman’s message inspires us all.
Singer Sheryl Crow tweeted, “If the future looks like inaugural poet laureate Amanda Gorman, we’re in great shape. Wise and inspiring. “
If the future looks like first poet laureate Amanda Gorman, we’re in great shape. Wise and inspiring.
Our children learn by watching us and are part of who they become. Be a model of compassion. ❤️#Be light
– Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) January 20, 2021