Looking over from the top of the hill

Looking over from the top of the hill

Two-thousand people seated in front of you, six-feet apart. You can see your yellow jacket out of the corners of your peripheral vision, a cold breeze blows as you prepare to start speaking. You step up to the podium and take a deep breath hoping you don’t stumble over your words. Amanda Gorman found herself in this situation at the forty-sixth president of the United States, Joe Biden’s, inauguration.  

Gormarecited a poem she was asked to write for the Biden-Harris inauguration, called “The Hill We Climb” Gormawrote the poem and recited it herself, making her the youngest poet in history to ever be assigned to write and recite an inaugural poem.  

Amanda Gorman was born on March 7th in Los Angeles, California to a single mother. Her mother is a teacher, and she was the reason that Gorman became so passionate about writing.  

Gorman shared with the “Los Angeles Times” that her mom being a teacher inspired her to empower young people through language, even through her speech impediment. 

A speech impediment never stopped Gorman from reaching her goals; she even looks at it as a strength. Gordon claims that it shaped how she performs and who she is to this day. 

Not long before then she joined a non-profit organization called “WriteGirl”, and their purpose was to help teenage girls use creative writing as a means to express themselves.  Gorman wrote many stories and poems and was able to get experience as a writer out of it. 

According to CBS Los Angeles, Gorman credits them for giving her support to chase her dreams as a writer. 

Having gained experience in her field, at the age of sixteen, Gorman went on to become the Youth Poet Laureate for Los Angeles, and not much later, she published “The One for Whom Food is Not Enough” as her first collection. Because she was such a talented writer and performed her poetry all around, First Lady Jill Biden saw her and became a fan of her work. The First Lady convinced the inauguration committee to let Gorman become the poet to perform at the inauguration, and they granted her wishes. 

Writing a poem that was supposed to re-unite the country in this time of crisis was no easy task, and she did not take it as such. Gorman made sure to do her research, looking at late Dr. King’s and Abrahams Lincolns work for guidance because they had experience trying to re-unite the countryShe even reported listening to the Hamilton” soundtracks to get in the mindset she needed to writeGorman wrote one line of the poem every day, and had over half of the poem done around the fifth of January, but she got most of her writing done on the day of the insurrection of the capitol. 

She told the “Los Angeles Times” that she was “shocked and jarred” at the scene, but she thinks that symptoms and signs have been showing for some time now, and that people seemed to have overlooked them. She told them, “I crafted an inaugural poem that recognizes these scars and wounds. Hopefully it will move us towards healing them.” 

Gorman also announced that she would be running for office in 2036 when she’s old enough, commenting that she hopes to see more representation of POC running for office in the years to come. Gorman felt that seeing VP Kamala Harris in office reinforced this goal of hers even more. 

“Once little girls can see it, little girls can be it. Because they can be anything they want, but that representation to make that dream exist is huge – even for me, Amanda Gormon said (LA Times Interview).