As a child with both an auditory processing disorder and a speech impediment, Amanda Gorman focused attention on reading and writing–she figured out a way to harness the power of words, instead of letting them control her. Poetry and writing helped her paint a picture of the world around her, and she uses this gift to tell stories of what it means to be a human in very exciting ways. After being inspired by Malala Yousafzai, Gorman became a youth delegate to the United Nations, and then became the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate (the Poet Laureate is considered “the official poet of the United States” for a specific period of time, with a goal of helping increase appreciation of, access to, and creation of writing and poetry). While performing one of her poems at an event, Dr. Jill Biden heard her, and was deeply inspired. When it came time for the Biden/Harris Inaugeration, Dr. Biden selected Gorman to write and read a poem for the event. The poem, The Hill We Climb, was completed by Gorman the morning of the Inaugeration, and both poem and poet inspired millions of people around the world; her words giving hope to, but also expecting work from, all of us to help create the democracy we want to be a part of.
To learn more about Amanda Gorman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuOMApb1qBs
https://time.com/5933596/amanda-gorman-michelle-obama-interview/ (May be behind a paywall if you’ve already read too many Time articles this month!)
In her poem from the Inaugeration, Gorman writes,
“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.”
Can you think of things around you that help you feel lighter and brighter if you are feeling angry or sad? How about ways that you help others feel lighter and brighter?
Dear God, Help us turn the things that challenge us into things that change us and can change the world. Amen