First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is a big fan of Amanda Gorman and was able to convince the inaugural committee to feature the poet for the inauguration rites. The 22 years old Ms. Gorman became the youngest poet in history to join the ranks of other inaugural poets in the likes of Elizabeth Alexander, Robert Frost, and Maya Angelou. There’s no qualification about her talent since she has been named as the First National Poet Laureate of America.
Gorman recited her poem “The Hill We Climb”, talking about an optimistic future for a country that is greatly dissected as a nation.
How Amanda Gorman Became a Poet
Amanda Gorman mentioned that her mom, Joan Wicks, a middle school teacher influenced her a lot by empowering her as a youth through speaking. Furthermore, growing up while commuting through neighborhoods showed Gorman a broad view of the inequalities separating areas.
According to Gorman, her love of poetry dates back to third grade when her teacher recited “Dandelion Wine” by Rad Bradbury in front of the class. She may not remember the particular metaphor in the poem but she remembers how it moved her and helped her fall in love with the art of words.
With similarities to Biden and Angelou, Gorman is also struggling with speech impediment and has difficulty in pronouncing the “R” consonant, relating that it took years for her to say “poetry” instead of “poetwy.”
Gorman mentioned that she never saw her disability as a weakness. Instead, she stayed focused on her aspirations to become a storyteller and a performer. According to Amanda, her speech impediment made her more aware in pronunciation and sonics when she was teaching herself about sounds.
Amanda’s Inspiration for Her Inaugural Poem
Amanda Gorman’s six-minute inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb” was created while the soundtracks from “Hamilton”, “Lincoln”, “The Crown”, and “Darkest Hour” played in the background. Gorman mentioned that music was a great help in putting her in an epic and historical vibe during her creative process.
While Gorman was writing her poem, she also watched videos of the D.C. Capitol riot launched by Trump supporters. She mentioned that she was not surprised but nonetheless found the event to be violating and jarring.She referenced the event in her poem as a cruel fact and a flaw in the country’s history.