Image source: Getty / Alex Wong
It's official – Joe Biden is the President of the United States and Kamala Harris is the first woman, first black woman, and first woman of South Asian descent to serve as Vice President! To say January 20, 2021 is a historic day is a huge understatement, but Biden and Harris aren't the only ones celebrating an important milestone. The poet Amanda Gorman had the honor of reciting a piece entitled "The Hill We Climb" during the inauguration day. This made her the youngest inaugural poet at the age of 22.
Before the big day, Gorman shared POPSUGAR in honor of the W.K. with an excerpt from the poem. The Kellogg Foundation's National Racial Healing Day, held on January 19th. "I basically wrote a little every day, a few lines here and there, and then I did the rest in one day in mid-January." "Gorman said of her writing process," The ironic thing is that I feel like the poem itself was like a hill that I had to climb as a writer! "
Gorman was asked to highlight the healing power of hope and unity over division in her powerful poem, and it served as a message of inspiration for many of us. "Finding hope doesn't mean negating the turbulent nature of the time," she said. "It means to make up with it and go straight to it. And that's exactly what I intend to do in the poem – to open our wounds so we can approach a bandage."
The poem also contains references to the musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamiltonand the composer definitely took note of it. After Gorman's breathtaking performance, she tweeted a response to Miranda's praise: "Thx @Lin_Manuel! Did you get the 2 @HamiltonMusical references in the opening poem? I couldn't help it!" Of course, Miranda caught her and greeted Gorman for her "perfectly written, perfectly delivered" opening poem.
You were perfect Perfectly written, perfectly delivered. Everything. Brava! -LMM
– Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) January 20, 2021
See Gorman recite "The Hill We Climb" below, then read her poem in full.
"The Hill We Climb"
When the day comes we wonder where we can find light in this infinite shadow.
The loss we bear, a sea we have to wade. We defied the animal's belly. We have learned that rest is not always peace, and that the norms and ideas of what is easy are not always justice.
Yet dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it, somehow we have weathered and seen a nation that is not broken, but simply incomplete.
We, the successors of a country and age where a skinny black girl is descended from slaves and raised by a single mother, can dream of becoming president just to recite for one.
And yes, we are far from polished, far from flawless, but that does not mean that we are striving to form a perfect union.
We strive to forge our union on purpose and create a country that is indebted to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.
And so we do not look to what stands between us, but to what is in front of us. We are closing the gap because we know our future comes first. We must first put our differences aside.
We put our arms down so we can stretch our arms out towards each other. We seek harm for no one and harmony for all.
If nothing else, let the globe say this is true. Even as we mourned, we grew. We hoped so, even though we were injured. We tried that even though we were tired.
That we will be bound together victoriously forever. Not because we will never experience defeat again, but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to imagine that everyone should sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one should fear them.
If we are to live up to our own time, victory is not in the blade but in all the bridges we have built. That is the promise to Glade, the hill we climb if we only dare. It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It is the past that we step into and how we fix it.
We have seen a force that would destroy our nation rather than divide it, destroy our country if it delayed democracy, and those efforts have almost been successful. Although democracy can be delayed at regular intervals, it can never be permanently defeated.
We trust in this truth, in this belief. Because while we keep our eyes on the future, history has kept its eyes on us.
This is the era of righteous redemption. We feared from the start that we would not feel ready to inherit such a terrible hour, but in it we found the strength to write a new chapter, to offer ourselves hope and laughter.
So, while we once asked, how could we possibly prevail against disaster? Now we claim: How could a catastrophe rule over us?
We will not march back to what was, but to what will be: a country that is hurt, but whole, benevolent, but brave, wild and free.
We are not turned around or interrupted by intimidation, knowing that our inaction and indolence will be the legacy of the next generation.
Our mistakes become theirs, but one thing is certain: when we associate mercy with power and power with justice, love becomes our legacy and changes our children's birthright.
So let's leave behind a country that is better than the one we left. With every breath of my bronze, bruised chest, we will turn this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the golden hills of the west. We will rise from the windswept northeast where our ancestors first realized the revolution. We will rise from the lakeside cities of the Midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-drenched south. We will rebuild, reconcile and restore.
In every known corner of our nation, in every corner that is called our country, our diverse and beautiful people are beaten and show up beautifully.
When the day comes, we step out of the shadow of the flame and are not afraid. The new dawn blossoms when we set it free, for there has always been light if we are just brave enough to see it, if we are just brave enough to be in it.