Born and raised in Los Angeles, 22 years old Gorman fell in love with poetry after hearing her teacher read Ray Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine” to the class. She then turned to writing to cope with her speech defect. Gorman is the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate. She published her poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015. Amanda Gorman has become the youngest poet ever to perform at a presidential inauguration, calling for “unity and togetherness” in her self-penned poem. 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 justice.
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.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked 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 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’s Quotes
There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude. Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it. So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain: Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.
The only approval you need is your own.
For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.
Amanda Gorman’s Achievements
1. Amanda Gorman is the founder of the nonprofit organization One Pen One Page, which runs a youth writing and leadership program.
2. In 2017, she became the first youth poet to open the literary season for the Library Of Congress and she has read her poetry on MTV.
3. In 2017, Gorman became the first author to be featured on XQ Institute’s Book of the Month.
4. Gorman read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, and is the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration in United States history.