Amanda Gorman Reads Powerful Poem at Biden's Presidential Inauguration - Rolling Stone
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Amanda Gorman Delivers Powerful Poem at Biden’s Presidential Inauguration

“Being American is more than a pride we inherit,” nation’s first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate says. “It’s the past we step into and how we repair it”

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.  During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate, delivered a gripping poem called “The Hill We Climb” at Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

Following performances by Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Garth Brooks, the 22-year-old stood at the podium in a canary yellow coat as she addressed the crowd. “Being American is more than a pride we inherit,” she proclaimed. “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 our democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded.”

Gorman captivated the crowd with words for the future while addressing the Capitol riots earlier this month. “One thing is certain,” she said, “if we merge mercy with might and might with rights, then love becomes our legacy…in change, our children’s birthright.”

Gorman spoke this CBS News this morning prior to her speech. “It’s amazing…Especially at my age,” she said. “No one really gets to say, ‘At 22, I am the inaugural poet. “And then on the Wednesday in which we saw the insurrection at the Capitol, that was the day that the poem really came to life. And I really put pedal to the metal. I wanted it to be a message of hope and unity. And I think that Wednesday for me really just underscored how much that was needed. But to not turn a blind eye to the cracks that really need to be filled.”

Read Rolling Stone‘s 2019 profile of Gorman here. “The Hill We Climb,” will be included in Gorman’s upcoming poetry collection, due out this fall.

 

In This Article: Amanda Gorman

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