Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman summoned images dire and triumphant as she called out to the world “even as we grieved, we grew.”
Gorman quoted biblical scripture and echoed the oratory of Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. among others as she recited her poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old Gorman began by asking “Where can we find light/In this never-ending shade?” and used her own poetry and life story as an answer.
She referred to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, an event that she said helped inspire her to finish her poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
The poem’s very title suggested both labor and transcendence.
Gorman is by far the youngest inaugural poet since Robert Frost read for John F. Kennedy in 1961.