Poet Amanda Gorman reflected on 2021 and looked ahead to next year in a new poem — and accompanying performance — shared on Instagram.
“New Day’s Lyric” begins with a call for unity as Gorman acknowledges both the difficulty and hardship that marked 2021. But of those challenges, she notes how we’ve been “readied by it,” and that, “We steadily vow that no matter/How we are weighed down,/We must always pave a way forward.”
“Come, look up with kindness yet,” she says later, “For even solace can be sourced from sorrow./We remember, not just for the sake of yesterday,/But to take on tomorrow.” And the poem’s final verse even includes a nice little interpretation of the New Year’s classic, “Auld Lang Syne,” with Gorman reciting, “We heed this old spirit,/In a new day’s lyric,/In our hearts, we hear it:/For auld lang syne, my dear,/For auld lang syne./Be bold, sang Time this year,/Be bold, sang Time.”
“New Day’s Lyric” closes out a major year for Gorman — the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate — which began with her celebrated recitation of her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at Joe Biden’s inauguration back in January. Not long after, the NFL tapped Gorman to pen a poem, “Chorus of the Captains,” in celebration of three “honorary captains” at the Super Bowl.
Gorman also published several books this year, including a special commemorative print edition of “The Hill We Climb” and an illustrated children’s poetry book, Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem. At the beginning of December, she published a new poetry collection, Call Us What We Carry.