We've heard some incredible, inspiring Inauguration speeches today (including that of our 46th President Joe Biden) but the words of the country's first National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman somehow hit all of us differently. At just 22 years old, Gorman became the youngest poet to ever perform at a presidential inauguration. Her powerful poem on the healing power of unity not only commanded national attention, but captured the hearts of listeners across the political divide. Her words, wise and strong, brave and true, managed to truly express the ethos of this moment.
Requested to perform by First Lady Jill Biden, Gorman started to write the poem, entitled "The Hill We Climb," following the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. In performing today, she joins the likes of other poets who have addressed the nation at Inauguration ceremonies, including Maya Angelou, Robert frost, Elizabeth Alexander and Richard Blanco (the last two of whom she spoke with before performing for advice).
Her powerful poem has clearly resonated with the world. Just ask Twitter:
Amanda Gorman’s message serves as an inspiration to us all. #InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/7zkyDoFHaQJanuary 20, 2021
“Victory won’t lie in the blade but in all the bridges we’ve made.” — Amanda Gorman with the best words of the day.January 20, 2021
Extraordinary. @TheAmandaGormanJanuary 20, 2021
I am so emotional. Amanda Gorman looks and sounds like the sun.January 20, 2021
YES @TheAmandaGorman. YES!!!!!! God bless you. “It’s the past we step into and how we repair it”.January 20, 2021
Amanda Gorman is incredible. https://t.co/6rJToKeliSJanuary 20, 2021
Brave enough to see it (the light) and brave enough to be it. #AmandaGorman pic.twitter.com/bqJvuMeYenJanuary 20, 2021
When can we vote for Amanda GormanJanuary 20, 2021
I liked Biden's speech, but this poem is giving me courage, inspiration, and life.January 20, 2021
Amanda Gorman.January 20, 2021
I know this child is an adult, but I am full auntie. LOOK AT THIS BABY GO!!!January 20, 2021
Look at Amanda!!! 🥺🥺🥺January 20, 2021
“Even as we grieved, we grew...as we tired we tried....we found the power to author a new chapter.” Thank you for your powerful poem @TheAmandaGorman. #Inauguration2021 pic.twitter.com/StTSH8kqDXJanuary 20, 2021
....anyone else ready to run through a wall after that poem? gotdamnJanuary 20, 2021
poets have the best diction. every syllable is very RAIN in SPAINJanuary 20, 2021
The powerful poem you just heard came from California's own Amanda Gorman. At 16, Amanda was named youth poet laureate of Los Angeles. Dr. Biden is a big fan — I'm sure many others will be after today too.January 20, 2021
I cried watching Amanda Gorman read this powerful, brilliant poem today. She is exactly the hope we need to see in the world. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Wq8BwG5ByGJanuary 20, 2021
Amanda Gorman wins the day 💯January 20, 2021
So... Amanda Gorman for president 2028? (PSA: You can buy her book here.)
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Megan DiTrolio is the editor of features and special projects at Marie Claire, where she oversees all career coverage and writes and edits stories on women’s issues, politics, cultural trends, and more. In addition to editing feature stories, she programs Marie Claire’s annual Power Trip conference and Marie Claire’s Getting Down To Business Instagram Live franchise.
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