It really was a great day.
It began with news feeds of Donald and Melania once and for all leaving the People’s House
Followed by the inaugural and the historic swearing in of the first woman, first Black, and first Asian-American as vice-president. Followed by the swearing in of what appeared to be the return of a “true leader” for America.
Still, the discovery, the star born that day, was 22-year-old Amanda Gorman. It’s fairly unanimous, the star of the day was the National Youth Poet Laureate, who recited her original poem, “The Hill We Climb.” Smoke about the need for Pres. Biden to give a speech that would unite the country, well, Gorman delivered, with the speech she says she finished penning just after supporters of former Pres. Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years. But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal,” she said. “It’s doing that in a way that is not erasing or neglecting the harsh truths I think America needs to reconcile with.”
During the week before the inauguration, Gorman told The Washington Post book critic Ron Charles, “My hope is that my poem will represent a moment of unity for our country,” and that “with my words, I’ll be able to speak to a new chapter and era for our nation.”[32
A little about Gorman: she grew up in Los Angeles, and as she said in her poem, was raised by a single mother. She attended a private school from K-12, and began writing in her teens; because she had a slight speech impediment, she found writing helped her express herself.
As a senior, she received a Milken Family Foundation college scholarship and studied sociology at Harvard College. While at Harvard, she was chosen from five finalists to become the first person named national youth poet laureate in April 2017. At Harvard, she majored in Sociology.
Her ability to create a feeling of unity whilst reminding us of the past America we must never forget is truly astounding.
“While democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated,” she recited at the inauguration. “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.”
Gorman’s conclusion to the poem is a call to action for every American. “We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one…There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”