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These Amanda Gorman Poems Showcase The Power Of The Inaugural Poet's Work

"The Hill We Climb" is only the beginning.

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The United States' first National Youth Poet Laureate, 22-year-old Amanda Gorman, became the youngest inaugural poet on Wednesday, when she recited her poem, "The Hill We Climb," during Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony. There are plenty of other Gorman poems to read after you watch her historic inauguration recital, and we've collected some of the best for you below.

Gorman is no stranger to composing powerful calls to action in verse. After becoming her native Los Angeles' youth poet laureate at age 16, Gorman performed her poem, "In This Place (An American Lyric)," at Tracy K. Smith's first reading as U.S. Poet Laureate. A member of Harvard's 2020 class, the poet published her first book, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough, in 2015, and has two new books of poetry, The Hill We Climb and Change Sings, due out in September 2021.

This is all to say that you are going to be seeing a lot of Gorman in the years to come, so now's the perfect time to acquaint yourself with her body of work. To get you started, here are a few Gorman poems you need to read after watching Joe Biden's presidential inauguration:

1

"The Hill We Climb"

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.

If we're to live up to our own time, then victory won't lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we've made.

That is the promise to glade.

The hill we climb, if only we dare, it's because being American is more than a pride we inherit.

It's the past we step into and how we repair it.

Read the poem in full here.

2

"Believer's Hymn for the Republic"

Out of many, was born one people;

A teeming nation made of nations,

At its very foundation a dream

For life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Read the poem in full here.

3

"Black Daughter's Pointillism"

In my temple,

the words brew,

With a pen, I've been both the razed village and the razor.

Don't they know I can stop a man's heart with one word?

4

"In This Place (An American Lyric)"

There’s a poem in this place—

in the heavy grace,

the lined face of this noble building,

collections burned and reborn twice.

Read the poem in full here.

5

"The Miracle of Morning"

We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,

For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.

In this chaos, we will discover clarity.

In suffering, we must find solidarity.

Read the poem in full here.

6

"Fury and Faith"

By now we understand that white supremacy and the despair it demands are as destructive as any disease.

So when you're told that your rage is reactionary,

Remember that rage is our right.