Amanda Gorman has made history on Wednesday, January 20 as the youngest poet in recent history to read a poem at a presidential inauguration.
The 22-year-old read her own poem at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, a poem described by many as a message about the country’s resilience.
The Los Angeles native told NPR she finished writing the poem, titled “The Hill We Climb,” on the night of January 6, hours after rioters took part in a siege on Capitol Hill.
Gorman in her poem said;
Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.
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 become the future.
The poet added;
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.
Gorman, who said she was not given specific instructions on what to write in her poem, follows in the footsteps of esteemed poets like Maya Angelou and Robert Frost in reading a poem at a presidential inauguration.
The young lady is no stranger to grand stages. She has recited her poetry at Library of Congress, Boston’s Symphony Hall, the Empire State Building’s observation deck and all across the country, performing for such luminaries as Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore and American actor Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Gorman started writing poems when she was a child, however she was like Biden, had a speech impediment while growing up, and had to work hard to overcome the challenge.
She told NPR that because of her difficulty saying certain letters of the alphabet, she has to constantly “self-edit and self-police.”
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez also delivered powerful performances at the inauguration ceremony.
Gaga sang the national anthem, while Lopez performed a medley of patriotic songs that included “This Land Is Your Land.”
Gaga joins a long, storied history of artists who’ve performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at presidential inaugurations, including Rev. Jesse Jackson’s daughter Santita Jackson (Bill Clinton, 1993, 1997), Beyoncé (Barack Obama, 2013) and America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho (Donald Trump).
In addition, Garth Brooks and John Legend also performed as part of the celebration.
Watch a video of Amanda Gorman reciting her poem below;
“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.”
— ABC News (@ABC) January 20, 2021
— The Recount (@therecount) January 20, 2021
Watch Jennifer Lopez’s stunning mash up of ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and ‘America the Beautiful’ — with a little ‘Let’s Get Loud’ thrown in for good measure 🎵 pic.twitter.com/YoUYxxf4SO
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 20, 2021