Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman Wows the Audience with her Poem “The Hill We Climb”

Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman Wows the Audience with her Poem “The Hill We Climb”

Morgan Hastain, News Editor

On January 20, 2021, 22 year old Amanda Gorman received a standing ovation for her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The eyes of past presidents, first ladies, and thousands of American citizens were all on her, yet she did not fumble her words, nor allow so much as a shiver to course through her body. 

Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb,” voices her hope for this wounded nation, while at the same time addressing the harsh truths that this country needs to bring to light. She describes the strength in our ever-changing democracy, and how it can still be healed despite everything that has happened these past four years. 

“But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated,” Gorman read. “In this truth, in this faith, we trust.”

As an avid poetry fan myself, the part of the poem that struck me the most was when she described her ability to dream, and how she is grateful for the fact that everyone, including herself, has the ability to dream despite our differences. 

“A skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president,” read Gorman. “Only to find herself reciting for one.”

“The Hill We Climb” is unlike any other poem I have ever read, specifically because it focuses on what this nation could be, sparking a sense of hope within me that has been missing for a long time. Amanda Gorman has reminded this nation exactly what poetry can do, and the hearts that it can inspire. 

“And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine,” Gorman read. “But that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose.”

She stresses how, though this nation is far from perfect, we will continue to work and dream for a nation that is completely unified. This poem is a story of hope, and I think that’s the most beautiful thing about it.