This Article is From Jan 21, 2021

Amanda Gorman, Youngest Inaugural Poet, Has A Moment In Biden Ceremony

Amanda Gorman, a Los Angeles-born writer and performer, said she hoped her new composition 'The Hill We Climb' would "speak to the moment" and "do this time justice".

Amanda Gorman performed a five-minute reading of her poem The Hill We Climb.


While the ceremony had performers like Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, it was 22-year-old African American poet Amanda Gorman who sent the interwebs buzzing after her stint at the inauguration of US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday.

Gorman, who became the country's first Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, read a poem she wrote for the occasion called 'The Hill We Climb' after Biden and Harris were sworn in.

Within minutes she started trending on social media as people scrambled to find out more about the young woman who enthralled the audience with her powerful rendition.

The youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration, the Los Angeles-born writer and performer she said she hoped her new composition would "speak to the moment" and "do this time justice".

She told the BBC she felt "excitement, joy, honour and humility" when she was asked to take part in the ceremony, "and also at the same time terror".

"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," she said in the roughly five-minute reading of her poem.

"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 be reciting for one," she said.

"For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it," she concluded.

Her message of unity echoed that of Joe Biden who was sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday, vowing to end the 'uncivil war' in a deeply divided country reeling from a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.