Amanda Gorman Inauguration Day Poem “The Hill We Climb”
Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet became the youngest person to ever read at a presidential inauguration. She recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” to a cheering crowd which included Mr. President Joe Biden, the First lady Jill Biden, Madam Vice President, Kamala Harris, her husband, Douglas Emhoff, Ex U.S President Barrack Obama, and Michelle Obama right in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C on 20th January, 2021, during the 46th United States Presidential inauguration.
Ms. Gorman wore a long yellow coat and sparkling white shirt with a ruby red headband having her braids on. She took to the podium to recite the poem she finished writing after rioters stormed into the halls of congress at the U.S Capitol on 6th January.
She was only halfway through the poem on the fateful day the riot happened but stayed up late into the night to complete it adding verses from the scene that unfolded at the Capitol.
The first National Youth Poet Laureate from Los Angeles who was raised by a single mother brought an inspiring message of hope and national unity that got dignitaries to their feet.
Here is the full excerpt of her poem:
Mr. President Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans, and the world.
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 graved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace.
In 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 it isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country and the 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.
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 gaze, 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 will 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 close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. Click To Tweet
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation, rather than share it.
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And 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 in 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 benevolence, 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 blenders become their burdens, but one thing is certain.
If we merged mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy, and change our children’s birthright.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. Click To Tweet
So let us leave behind a country better than one
We were left with every breath, my bronze pounded chest.
We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold limbed hills of the West.
We will rise from the wind swept to Northeast where our forefathers first realized the revolution.
We will rise from the lake when cities of the middle Western States.
We will arise from the sun baked South.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover, and every known nook over a nation.
And every corner called our country.
Our people diverse and beautiful will emerge, battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid, the new dawn balloons, as we free it.
For there was always light.
If only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
You can also watch the full poem Amanda Gorman gave below:
There was always light if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.Amanda Gorman
Thank you for inspiring us all, Amanda.