A 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman stired hope,awe and wowed the crowd with her reading during Joe Biden’s swearing-in.
The recitation and words cough the eyes of world top leaders who congratulated her for the best poem ever including former president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
On a day for the history books, @TheAmandaGorman delivered a poem that more than met the moment. Young people like her are proof that "there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it; if only we're brave enough to be it." pic.twitter.com/mbywtvjtEH
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 20, 2021
Photo credit: Rob Carr pic.twitter.com/C2cf0U5iEj
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 20, 2021
A perfect start to a new political era. I had the privilege of teaching & advising Amanda at Harvard & she never ceases to impress me. A brilliant & supremely talented poet, who has already achieved so much—and she’s just getting started. So proud of you, @TheAmandaGorman! https://t.co/mPWK9u5kEZ
— Bart Bonikowski (@bartbonikowski) January 19, 2021
Now that you’re here on what I thought was a throwaway tweet, check out the young poet who will be performing tomorrow at the inauguration and follow @TheAmandaGorman to keep up with her amazingness. https://t.co/a65GOv3WEY
— ilyseh (@ilyseh) January 20, 2021
One thing not to miss today is the performance of the first youth laureate poet, @TheAmandaGorman. I met her years ago at a youth poetry workshop on gender justice and have followed her ever since. She's a rare talent and an incredible leader. https://t.co/hNUfUOM57J
— ilyseh (@ilyseh) January 20, 2021
Start your Inauguration Day with some of Amanda Gorman’s beautiful words. She’ll read her new piece at the Capitol ceremony.
“For while we have our eyes on the future,
History has its eyes on us.” https://t.co/AN89SUvGyT
— Julie Bykowicz (@bykowicz) January 20, 2021
— Phillipa Soo (@Phillipasoo) January 20, 2021
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 20, 2021
Here’s the transcript of her text / full poem by Amanda Gorman
When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
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.
And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.
‘Never been more optimistic’: speeches, songs and celebrations cap Biden’s inauguration day – as it happened
And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine,
but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare.
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.
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 democracy.
This effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith, we trust,
for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared it at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour,
but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So while once we asked, ‘How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?’ now we assert, ‘How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be:
A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change, our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.
With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the golden hills of the west.
We will rise from the wind-swept north-east where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.
In every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country,
our people, diverse and beautiful, will emerge, battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
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