I watched today’s inauguration ceremonies while I worked, taking glances at my personal computer to my left while I carried on with my regular tasks. I was watching partly out of curiousity, and partly out of a sense of obligation, and also partly just because I was so relieved this day had finally arrived.
I did not expect to be so moved by it. From Lady Gaga’s spirited rendition of our national anthem, to Jennifer Lopez’s getting “loud” and speaking to us in Spanish, it was inspiring. Watching Madame Vice President Kamala Harris be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, another Latina, was another historic moment I was proud to be a part of, even if it was so many miles away. President Biden’s oath and the speech that followed it is the beginning of a new era, another fresh start for all of us. I hope we are all able to work together and get work done.
But what has stuck with me, and many, many others, is a young poet.
I want to be Amanda Gorman when I grow up.
What an amazing, talented young poet. If you haven’t watched any of today’s speeches or performances, here’s just the end of her poem, “The Hill we Climb.” Use the link below it to watch it or read it in its entirety.
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 golden 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 in every known nook of our nation in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful, when the 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.Amanda Gorman