A New Hope For Healing: Amanda Gorman’s powerful inauguration message
For me, one of the most impressive moments during yesterday’s presidential inauguration of the Biden administration was the reading of the inaugural poem by the young Amanda Gorman.
Only 22 years old and having previously been our first National Youth Poet Laureate, Gorman came up to the podium as a tiny but extremely bright point of light, resplendent in a stunning yellow coat, bold red headband, and a face that shone with the hope that can only be found in the young. And that was all before she opened up her mouth to voice her poem, a wonderfully woven and fluid incantation that represents a response to the January 6th right-wing attacks on our nation’s Capitol, an attack that showcased our country's deep ideological divisions.
Hers was a poem to heal those who are ready to listen, representing the hope of youth (who may someday want to be president) and who want to “close the divide because we know to put our future first we must first put our differences aside.”
The text of Gorman's poem, “The Hill We Climb,” will be released in her upcoming book of the same name. Scheduled for publication in September, it is available to preorder now, as is her children's book, Change Sings. While we await those releases, here are some other poems of hope, resilience, and identity to enjoy in the meantime.