Amanda Gorman Captures A Nation’s Imagination With ‘The Hill We Climb’ As She Reveals Big Plans For The Future

Amanda Gorman The Hill We Climb Transcript Inauguration Video

Amanda Gorman has captured the attention of millions when she recited a poem during President Joe Biden‘s inauguration on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Harvard graduate made history when First Lady Jill Biden asked her in December to write a poem for the presidential inauguration.

She became the youngest person to do so and followed in the steps of one of her own heroes, Maya Angelou.

Gorman, who is from California and graduated with a degree in sociology from Harvard in May 2020, recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” moments after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as president and vice president.

She wore a ring in the shape of a caged bird, gifted to her by TV host Oprah Winfrey, paying tribute to Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

On Twitter, Gorman gushed that she would “be nowhere without the women” who have gone before her and whose “footsteps” she follows in.

Oprah Winfrey expressed her own pride at seeing “another young woman rise.” Winfrey was friends with the late Maya Angelou, who she said would also have been “cheering” for Gorman that day.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton also praised the brilliant writer.

And while she might be the youngest person to write a poem for a presidential inauguration, it certainly is not the first time Amanda Gorman has been recognized for her work.

In her home city of Los Angeles, she was crowned Youth Poet Laureate back in 2015.

The following year — at just age 17 — she released a poetry book, and 12 months later, she had become America’s first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate.

Gorman has recited her poetry at official events in the past, including at the Library of Congress, where Jill Biden first heard her speak.

The Capitol riots on January 6 gave the young poet fresh “energy” for the poem, which includes a reference to the fatal riot as a “force that would shatter our nation,” and some words of hope as she claims democracy will never be “permanently defeated.”

Amanda Gorman will be back in Washington because she has already promised to run for president in 2036.

Here is the full transcript of Amanda Gorman inaugural poem that called for unity:

“When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
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
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
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
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promised glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it”


Recommended For You