Amanda Gorman delivered her poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration

Biden Sworn-in as 46th President of the United States

There were so many moments during yesterday’s inauguration which gave me goosebumps and made me tear up a lot. The moment when Kamala Harris took the oath of office, the first woman (and woman of color) to hold national office in America. The moment when President Biden took his oath of office, about 12 minutes before noon, and knowing that we were finally done with the Trump era. The moment when Vice President Harris saluted the men and women in uniform and walked into her offices in the Old Executive Office Building. And the moment when a young woman, only 22 years old, stood at the dais in a bright yellow coat and recited the poem she had written following the January 6th insurrection just two weeks before.

The young woman was Amanda Gorman, the Youth Poet Laureate, and a resident of Los Angeles. Gorman’s yellow ensemble was Prada. She wore Nikos Koulis’ Energy jewelry gifted to her by Oprah Winfrey, with a Of Rare Origin birdcage ring in honor of Maya Angelou. Gorman recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb” to an enraptured audience in person and watching at home.

I’ve watched her recitation/performance a few times and it keeps getting better and better. What do you love the most? I love the acknowledgement that we are not okay but we will be okay, that we have to keep working because none of this is over. “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.” “A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.” You can read the full poem here.

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

Biden Sworn-in as 46th President of the United States

Biden Sworn-in as 46th President of the United States

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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66 Responses to “Amanda Gorman delivered her poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration”

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  1. Sierra says:

    This young woman is the future of America.

  2. Esmom says:

    I was utterly blown away by her, her words, her wisdom, her presence. She was radiant and brilliant.

    And I was moved last night when I read about the developmental disabilities she has worked to overcome. What a model of grace and intelligence for us all.

  3. Becks1 says:

    The first inauguration I remember watching was Bill Clinton’s in 1993 – we watched it in school, I was in 5th grade, and some of the other teachers came in (the specials teachers who had a break etc) and I clearly remember my music teacher and my 5th grade teacher crying during Maya Angelou’s recitation, and I didnt get it. Yesterday I cried during Amanda Gorman’s recitation and I just thought, “I get it now.”

    The part that you quoted is my favorite-

    That even as we grieved, we grew
    That even as we hurt, we hoped
    That even as we tired, we tried

    That’s how I think so many of us felt during the Trump era, and especially over the last few weeks – we grieved and we hurt and we are/were tired, but we still grew and hoped and tried, and now we have a Biden/Harris administration, and the House and the Senate, and while we wont hold them forever, its still a good moment.

    • Merricat says:

      Exactly. Well said. And even though I know our troubles aren’t over, I slept better last night than I have slept in four years, and I woke without that sense of dread of what the day might bring.

  4. Snuffles says:

    She was FANTASTIC!!

    I just want to shine a light on part of her origin story. She’s an alumni of Write Girl based out of Los Angeles

    https://www.writegirl.org/

    “ WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls.”

    I was a past mentor for the organization. Long before Amanda was involved. But it is a GREAT organization and deserves all of your support!

    My mentee has grown up to be a real estate agent in LA. But when I got her at 13, I wasn’t even sure she would make it out of high school let alone go to college!! But she did and she’s doing so well now.

    Being a part of Write Girl is one of my proudest achievements. So I was thrilled to bits to see an alumni on that stage yesterday.

    Congratulations, Amanda!

    • Becks1 says:

      Thanks for sharing – I hav never heard of this organization! Glad your mentee is doing so well :-)

    • Merricat says:

      That’s fantastic! What a wonderful program–I strongly believe that learning to write clearly means learning to think clearly.

    • Thanks for that info Snuffles. I’ve been reading endless articles about her today. Have preordered both her books, followed her on Twitter, watched her recitation from yesterday of this and other poems, and pulled up interview footage. What an amazing gift she is! Her voice is loud and clear and strong.

    • MyOpinion says:

      @ Snuffles, what an amazing gift that you provided to WriteGirl!! I am not familiar with it but I look forward to reading about it on your link. I think that your participation should be one of your proudest achievements as you can see here, on the swearing in of President Biden and Madame VP Harris!! As for Amanda, she is frequently featured on CBS a morning news and their Sunday program. I could listen to her all day!! She is such a magnificent orator and poet. I remember the first time I saw her readings and I was captivated by her wisdom, eloquence and talent. Amanda will be an amazing trailblazer and an inspiration to all, as we have seen and saw yesterday. As young as she is, and when she was first acknowledged, makes me feel so happy for her as a beacon for not only her previous generations but also the generations to come.

  5. GuestwithCat says:

    She was interviewed on CNN last night. Unfortunately I could only hear part of the interview, as I had work to do with feral cats that would not wait. But my husband and daughter were apparently stunned by her eloquence and some quality she had that they could not articulate. I wish I could have seen this interview, because my husband and daughter are not easily impressed nor rendered speechless.

    I know I was shocked when she recited her poem at the inauguration. I like poetry but I am not generally moved by it. I got moved and had to pick myself up off the floor. Her poem was a perfect complement to President Biden’s speech. Everything about the inauguration made me feel these were the right people standing in their right moment in history.

    • ChloeCat says:

      GuestWithCat, bless you for helping feral kitties. You are an angel! Those babies need help so badly. I applaud anyone who helps them.

      • Traveler says:

        I want to second @ChloeCat’s sentiments. You have a big heart to step in for these little creatures with no voice and few advocates. Thank you.

      • GuestwithCat says:

        Thank you Chloecat and Traveler. I’m a bit frustrated. Because of the pandemic, I can’t get to a new bunch of strays and ferals I want to help. There are logistical nightmares and prohibitions I can’t even bring myself to talk about. And my health has not cooperated. But I appreciate the kind words. Thank you both.

        I came back because I got to see this video interview Savu shared the link to. I’m astonished at how many successful people have speech impediments and all of the ways they have overcome them. I didn’t start out in life with speech impediments, but I have them now. Something really got messed up in my brain from menopause. It never occurred to me to try and overcome my impediments. I just stopped speaking, except for the bare minimum needed. Of course, it doesn’t help me want to change things now that people assume I’m more wise than I actually am, since I’m too quiet to stick my foot in my mouth anymore. 😂 Except here at Celebitchy, of course!

        This remarkable young woman radiates so much confidence and positivity. She has learned how to BE the light. It’s amazing.

        I like that she acknowledges it took a village and that she didn’t get to where she is all alone. That is such a refreshing change from the attitude we’ve had pushed at us the last four years.

        As you can imagine, floundering on your own is not conducive to a life in the light, much less being the light. It’s more or less left me a life in shadows.

        Maybe the new administration will help teach an old dog like me some new tricks. I’ve noticed there’s just such a push to get resources and help to people. There’s actually optimism in The White House again. They spent the inauguration thanking people who help other people. They celebrated service!

        This young woman’s openness and positivity makes it seem possible to do anything. It’s quite a remarkable gift she has, even beyond her talent with words. She actually radiates positivity. She absolutely was the perfect voice of the inauguration! I wonder if I will have the pleasure of casting a vote for her presidency someday.

  6. OriginalLala says:

    She was so so so good!! What a talent! More poetry and fewer guns!!

  7. mellie says:

    I thought she was going to get up and read a poem, I had no idea it was going to be so beautiful and so beautifully spoken…I was mesmerized. She, and her words, were lovely. Very little work got done here yesterday!

  8. Savu says:

    When I learned she had a speech impediment, I was floored. I’m a broadcast journalist, and public speaking is HARD. The greats make it look easy. And she made it look like she was born to do this! It was moving and powerful. I’ll probably watch it again today!

    I loved what she wore. Talk about understanding framing – she knew we’d only see her from the waist up, and she came to slay. I noticed the earrings right away, they were simple but modern and unique, and looked gorgeous against her skin.

    • Midnight@theOasis says:

      I was amazed also that she’d had a speech impediment. I believe she said she had trouble pronouncing the letter “R”. She obviously has worked very hard at overcoming it. I remember as a child meeting with my school’s speech therapist due to my impediment. I couldn’t properly pronounce the letters, X,S and C. It took a lot of hard work and encouragement, but I eventually overcame it.

  9. whateveryousay says:

    Perfection.

  10. Lucy2 says:

    She was without a doubt the highlight of the inauguration performances, and so inspirational.

  11. Soupie says:

    The new Maya Angelou. Her interview with Andeson Cooper last night was really fun. He’s just majorly crushing on her, as so many of us are.

  12. grabbyhands says:

    “A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.”

    That. That right there gave me shivers. I am in awe of her talent and poise. She deserves all the attention she’s getting.

    Anderson Cooper’s interview with her was adorable – he was clearly in awe as well, and was fan girling a little.

  13. Tiff says:

    I cried during her poem. Actually I started crying as soon as I saw Officer Goodman and did not stop crying until well after Joe’s speech. Hell, even Garth Brooks made me cry. I should have taken the day off of work because nothing got done except crying for a good 2 1/2 hr stretch.

  14. Mina_Esq says:

    I was transfixed. It wasn’t just the words but also her performance. The hand movements, the facial expressions. And p.s. how gorgeous is that Prada coat?! The whole outfit (leather pencil skirt, crystal mask, crisp white shirt). It’s basically the exact thing I’d wear to an inauguration :)

  15. manda says:

    I got so choked up during her poem. Just beautiful

    The ring is FABULOUS omg, I want one

    My husband told me he read that Amanda had a stutter as a child, not sure where he saw that or if it is true, but I thought that even more meaningful, given Biden’s advocation for people that stutter

  16. Tiffany says:

    I got chills when she recited that. Straight up goosebumps.

    I’m sitting here getting them now just thinking about that poem.

    I am so proud of this young lady.

    On a superficial note, yellow is her color. Beautiful.

  17. Willow says:

    So much talent. So eloquent.

  18. Watson says:

    A true star was born yesterday. This woman was/is fantastic. I cannot wait to see what her future holds.

    • Maxime duCamp says:

      I read up about her somewhere before the inauguration and did read that she had a speech impediment as a child, but it didn’t specify that she stuttered. I follow one of the curators at the Morgan Library & Museum on IG and she posted a story about meeting up with Amanda Gorman at Harvard to receive a manuscript of her poem In This Place (An American Lyric). Here’s a link about her from the Morgan with video of her reciting that poem: https://www.themorgan.org/blog/youth-poet-laureate-amanda-gorman-takes-her-place-morgan-library

      • Maxime duCamp says:

        oops, I was replying to someone else, not sure how it ended up under your comment @Watson, but indeed a star was born yesterday and it was such a gift to witness.

  19. Mireille says:

    That poem is awesome. Her delivery rocked. She rocks. And this is coming from someone who hates poetry (and I majored in English in college).

  20. Case says:

    She was just magnificent. She captured America not how we idealize it, not how we wish it to be, but exactly as it is. Beautifully written and delivered.

  21. Liz version 700 says:

    She was stunning. I had chill bumps on my arms as she spoke also. Her performance was perfection and her writing is amazing.

  22. Merricat says:

    The sophistication of her work and the way she delivered blew us away. Bless her.

  23. Blue says:

    I honestly started getting chills just from the way she said “Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President”. Such a powerful performance.

    • Twin falls says:

      Same.

    • JanetDR says:

      Yes! Chills the whole time. Amazing 💗

    • phlyfiremama says:

      Add me to that particular chorus!! Just her introduction made my goosebumps come up!! Shivers down my spine, I KNEW that this was special and I was utterly transfixed in awe as she so flawlessly and powerfully read her work. It is STILL making me tear up just reading ABOUT her & the poem, much less to hear it again. MAGNIFICENT, and out of an extraordinary day she was the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the ice cream on top of the cake for me personally. What a bright future we could have, with people like her at the helm~

  24. Sunday says:

    She was so incredible – her words, her presence, her brilliance in every sense of the word. So excited to see (and read) what she does next.

  25. Kim says:

    Amanda Gorman makes one hopeful for our future. My hope is that more young people step up and show the world.

  26. CommentingBunny says:

    She’s a genius. That’s all I’ve got!

  27. Nic919 says:

    She was brilliant both in her performance and the poem itself. And the more we learn about her the more we see that she has put in the work to get to where she is. Many adults who are much older should learn from her example.

    On a fashion note, I rarely like head bands but she rocked it like a Queen.

  28. KPS says:

    Brilliant. Mesmerizing. Powerful. What a talent! She has a book coming out in Sept (available for pre-order on Amazon).

  29. I am floored by her performance. Had a stressful day, just came to celebitchy for a lighter note. Watching Amanda makes me cry even though I am not a poetry fan but she handled it like a boss which she is. I doff my cap, she was eloquent, confident, intelligent and a mesmerizing speaker.
    I am a fan of this young beautiful woman

  30. ME says:

    She stole the show ! So talented. I love her voice and just the way she delivered her poem.

  31. TheOriginalMia says:

    I’ve watched her reading several times and had it playing in the car this morning. It’s so poignant. She is an amazing talent. I think Van Jones said it best last night. We are witnessing a supernova of talent being born. She blew me away.

  32. TiredMomof2 says:

    My daughter had had lunch with her (they went to the same college), and has friends in common with her. She’s a delight and astoundingly talented.

  33. Miss Jupitero says:

    Amanda spent some time in my stomping grounds in Cambridge Massachusetts and read as part of at Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room’s Boston Originals Series. She is a rock star, and we are all revelling in the beautiful light of her latest performance!

    I read my work in the same series btw *flipping my hair and taking a bow* and I’m very proud to say we bumped elbows and nibbled cheese together. She was radiant, it was a wonderful poem, and I am in awe.

    Now excuse me while I go and boldly invite her to the reading series I help curate. No idea where she is based these days, but I will frolic if she is able to accept.

  34. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I, too, was mesmerized with her articulation and ease with conveying motives, focus and intent during that interview. She’s clearly our new Angelou. Truly amazing, brilliant and fully rounded…wholly excellent.

    This was supposed to be in response to GuestwithCat lol.

  35. Edna says:

    She was breathtaking. Loved her poem. This is an interesting Vogue article that gives her inspiration on her poem

    Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman on Her Career-Defining Address and Paying Homage to Maya Angelou
    https://www.vogue.com/article/inaugural-poet-amanda-gorman-interview

  36. Regina Falangie says:

    She blew me away. She is incredible.

  37. MsIam says:

    Sussex Squad posted a link to her reciting a poem about strong women and the video included an illustration of Duchess Meghan! Also she has a book coming in September that will include the inauguration poem. Also a children’s book too.

  38. Traveler says:

    This young woman is outstanding.

  39. Green Desert says:

    Truly amazing and talented young woman. I was transfixed, listening to her.

  40. Mignionette says:

    Amanda went from just over 100k twitter followers to 1.2 million today.

    She also now 1 and 2 on the Amazon sales list.

    About time.

  41. Julia K says:

    Just when I believe we are going to hell in a handbasket, someone comes along to give us hope for the future.

  42. Ebee says:

    Someone on Twitter yesterday (I’d quote if I could remember who) said she was like a sun coming out of dark clouds, both in outfit and uplifting hope and warmth.