The Inaugural Poet

Anna Dabrowski, Head Editor



What is your favorite Amanda Gorman poem?

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Yesterday on January 20th, Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet ever at the age of 22. Her composition, titled “The Hill We Climb”, was heavily influenced by the Capitol Riots earlier in the month. She said that she wanted to deliver a message of unity,”But not turn a blind eye to the cracks that really need to be filled.” 

Amanda Gorman grew up with a single mom who was an English teacher. Her whole life she struggled with a speech impediment, and her escape was authoring elaborate poems on paper. As Amanda got older she realized she wanted the words she was scrawling down to be given a vibrant life. She wanted to perform her poetry, but to do this she had to overcome her speech impediment(1) . Gormon used music therapy to help with her biggest struggle, the letter R. She recited songs ,such as “Aaron Burr” from the musical Hamilton, that have a lot of Rs to overcome the specific letter. Amanda delivered her poem beautifully to the millions of people viewing the inauguration in person and over television. She graduated from Harvard in 2020 with a major in sociology. Most of her work concentrates on oppression, gender, and race issues. Gorman has a long term goal of running for president in 2036. 

I personally thought her poem was beautiful. She used a lot of clever word plays such as ending lines with “Just is” and then “Just-ice”. Her rhythm sounded almost musical and she spoke to a new era of the United States. She did a good job of acknowledging the American dream while still bringing attention to the mounds of work that face our country. Our country is very divided right now, but she ends her poem on a positive note.

For there is always a light, If only we’re brave enough to see it, If only we’re brave enough to be it

— Amanda Gorman