At President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Amanda Gorman performed an original poem, ‘The Hill We Climb’, a tradition that many well-known poets such as Maya Angelou and Robert Frost have participated in at past inauguration ceremonies.
Gorman’s poem was widely praised for the message that it delivered, a plea for peace and unity, even after such dividing events, such as the recent insurrection at the Capitol and a continuous struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What that informed me as a poet is the importance of writing the poem with honesty and writing a poem that didn’t turn a blind eye to that division and discourse that we saw, but really shed light on it,” Gorman said.
Gorman, a 22-year-old Harvard graduate who was born in Los Angeles, uses her poems as a platform to advocate for issues such as oppression and feminism, and one of her pieces, “Earthrise”, focuses on the climate crisis.
“We are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t striving to form a union that is perfect,” Gorman said.