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Arts and Literature

Poem: Amanda Gorman's "The Hill We Climb'"

by The Scribe Post - 21 January 2021 510 Views
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On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in the United States of America. The 22-year-old poet laureate recited her poem 'The Hill We Climb' at the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America. Gorman is the youngest poet to recite at an inauguration, a role first given to Robert Frost by John F. Kennedy in 1961. Her poem, inspired by recent happenings in the US, especially the insurrection that happened at the Capitol Hill, keeps receiving huge reception from lovers of art, poetry, and black people of the United States of America. Among them are Jericho Brown, an American poet and writer, and Oprah Winfrey who declared in a tweet that she's never been prouder to see another young woman rise. Below is a transcript of her poem. 








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 promise to 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

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