Amanda Gorman steals hearts with her poem at Joe Biden’s inaugural ceremony
Who is Amanda Gorman?
A young dynamic poetess, Amanda Gorman is America’s first National Youth Poet Laureate. She created history by becoming the youngest poet ever to deliver a recitation for an American President at an inaugural ceremony. Amanda Gorman is a Los Angeles-born writer, performer and activist. Her work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora.
Why everyone is talking about Amanda?
The poetess won hearts with her powerful poem ‘The Hill We Climb’. It spoke about the resilience of democracy and the need for unity: “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”.
It talks about hope, hope from the lens of a 22-year-old, hope that the people of the country are waiting for. It recognises violence as cowardice and bravery as compassion: “The new dawn blooms as we free it/ For there is always light/ if only we’re brave enough to see it/ If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Wearing a yellow coat, red headband, a statement ring and earrings, Amanda left an indelible imprint on our minds and soul. Her words touched millions of hearts as America celebrated its 46th President elect Joe Biden.
Here’s the full text of her poem: The Hill We Climb
“When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace.
And the norms and notions of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
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 find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished, far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man
And so we lift our gaze not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms, so we can reach out our arms to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth, in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover and every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge, battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Featured image: AP photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool