From Lady Gaga’s performance of the US national anthem to the eye-catching block colour fashion, there were plenty of stand-out moments (alongside the historic event itself, of course) at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ inauguration ceremony.
But on top of all of this, there was one moment in particular which really stole the show. We’re talking, of course, about the performance of one Amanda Gorman, America’s first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate and the youngest poet ever to perform at a presidential inauguration.
“We’ve braved the belly of the beast,” Gorman recited. “We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and 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 isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.
“We, the successors of a country and a 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.”
Elsewhere in the poem, Gorman spoke of the importance of putting “differences aside” and reuniting the division which has become such a destructive presence in American politics.
“We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another,” she read. “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 we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.”
Gorman, who graduated from Harvard last year, was named America’s first-ever youth poet laureate back in 2017. The award-winning poet and writer may only be 22 years-old, but she’s achieved massive success, having previously performed for the Obama’s at the White House as well as Lin Manuel-Miranda, Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai.
Her performance at yesterday makes her just the sixth poet to recite as a presidential inauguration, following in the footsteps of trailblazing poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
Unsurprisingly, her poem took Twitter by storm yesterday, with celebrities and politicians alike sharing their admiration for Gorman’s talent.
“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise!” wrote Oprah Winfrey. “Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering – and so am I.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.