Although all eyes were on President Biden and Madam Vice President Kamala Harris, it was 23-year-old poet Amanda Gorman who stole the inauguration with her poem, "The Hill We Climb."
On Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America. Although all eyes were on President Biden and Madam Vice President Kamala Harris, it was 23-year-old poet Amanda Gorman who stole the show with her poem, "The Hill We Climb."
From the moment Gorman took the stage, and uttered the beginning verses of her poem, the nation was in awe. Her words touched on Biden's overall theme to unite a divided nation, leaving a lasting impression for those who carefully listened.
"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 said.
But who exactly is this eloquent poetess, and why are we only now being introduced to her greatness?
Gorman isn't exactly a newcomer to the literary world. In fact, she's an award-winning poet. Gorman, who graduated from Harvard, was named the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles in 2014, later becoming the first National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States. She is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history.
Joe Biden's inaugural address was everything I expected it to be
Joe Biden's inaugural address was everything I expected it to be conversations.indy100.com
During a time when our country feels vastly divided, President Joe Biden's words felt like the glue to seal it back together.
Ok, I'm not going to lie, Gorman is over here making us all look like underachievers, all while wearing Prada no less.
In addition, Gorman also appears to be besties with Oprah. Yes, the one and only. Oprah apparently gifted Gorman with the ring she wore during Biden's inauguration ceremony. The ring depicts a caged bird, paying homage to the late Maya Angelou's renowned pieces of poetry, Why The Caged Bird Sings.
Angelou was a previous inaugural poet in the 1993 inauguration of former President Bill Clinton, delivering her poem "On the Pulse of Morning." After Gorman delivered her empowering poem, Oprah took to Twitter to praise the young poetess, writing, "I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava,"
I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I. pic.twitter.com/I5HLE0qbPs
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 20, 2021
Gorman's poem wasn't moving only because it empowered our divided nation, but also because it provided a reassurance of hope during a time when our country needs it most.
"When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade," Gorman orated. "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 justice."
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