Amanda Gorman, First Ever National Youth Poet Laureate, Delivers Soaring Inauguration Poem
Amanda Gorman, the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate, recited a soaring poem about national unity at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old became the youngest inaugural poet ever to perform at an inauguration, and the day marks her first televised performance.
“In my poem, 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 told the New York Times prior to her performance. “It’s doing that in a way that is not erasing or neglecting the harsh truths I think America needs to reconcile with.”
“One day comes we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never ending shade?” Gorman said on Inauguration Day, beginning her recital of The Hill We Climb. “Notions of just what is, isn’t always justice.”
She went on to note that the nation is not broken, but merely unfinished, before sharing her childhood dreams of becoming president one day.
“We close the divide because we know to put our future first we must first put our differences aside,” she added. “We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.”
Delivering a thinly veiled swipe at Donald Trump, Gorman accused the prior administration of “delaying democracy” and “shattering our nation”:
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.
Gorman is now among a small group of poets who were tapped to perform at the presidential inauguration, including Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams, Elizabeth Alexander, and Richard Blanco.
Gorman was named the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles at just 16 years old, becoming the first National Youth Poet Laureate a few years later while studying at Harvard University.
Watch above, via MSNBC.
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com