Poet Amanda Gorman delivered a remarkable speech performance of her poem “The Hill We Climb” during the Inauguration Ceremony of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, January 20, 2021.
The National Youth Poet Laureate made history as the youngest inaugural poet in the U.S. history.
Below are some of the powerful quotes from Amanda Gorman’s poem:
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,
and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.
And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine,
but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.
We lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
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.
So while once we asked, ‘How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?’ now we assert, ‘How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be.
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change, our children’s birthright.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.