6 Amazing Poems From Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman

We curated six amazing poems she penned for you to enjoy.

Her poem piqued the interest of Dr. Jill Biden. The red Prada headband she donned at the inauguration of President Joe Biden sold out within seconds of its debut. However, it was the exquisite poem that Amanda Gorman, the youngest-ever inaugural poet laureate, performed that sent a worldwide message of hope awakening the weary world to the healing power of poetry. Honored as the first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, the 22-year-old Harvard University graduate has been playing with words since her childhood days in Los Angeles where she was raised by a single mother. Though many are now asking: Who is Amanda Gorman? In fact, throughout the years her poetry has awed audiences including former Vice President Al Gore, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton, and Oprah Winfrey, who gifted Gorman the earrings and caged-bird ring (a nod to Maya Angelou) she wore to the inauguration.

Gorman’s poetry touches on issues of the day including civil rights, social justice, climate change, feminism, and unity. Her poem “The Hill We Climb” was recited at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021. Be on the lookout for Gorman’s upcoming books The Hill We Climb: Poems and Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem. It comes as no surprise that Amanda Gorman’s books are already selling out.

“The Miracle of Morning”

Amanda Gorman performed “The Miracle of Morning” on CBS in April of 2020 to help heal the nation.

“For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.

Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.
Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.
From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.”

“Fury and Faith”

Gorman penned “Fury and Faith” to reflect her feelings about the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protest.

“But the point of protest isn’t winning

It’s holding fast to the promise of freedom
Even when fast victory is not promised.”

Find out what anti-racism means and what it means to be anti-racist.

“In This Place (An American Lyric)”

“In This Place (An American Lyric) ” is the poem that piqued Dr. Jill Biden’s interest in Gorman and inspired her to invite her to perform at the inauguration.

“There’s a poem in this place—
a poem in America
a poet in every American
who rewrites this nation, who tells
a story worthy of being told on this minnow of an earth
to breathe hope into a palimpsest of time—
a poet in every American
who sees that our poem penned
doesn’t mean our poem’s end.

There’s a place where this poem dwells—
it is here, it is now, in the yellow song of dawn’s bell
where we write an American lyric
we are just beginning to tell.”

“The Gathering Place”

“The Gathering Place” is Gorman’s homage to social justice.

“On the corner of hope and drive,

Under the question of open sky sprawls our great gathering site.

In this village we make the globe a little smaller

So we can dream bigger, so the dream need not wait. Here in this gathering, we do good so that the world might be great.”

“Earthrise”

Gorman dedicated “Earthrise” to former Vice President Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project.

“Just as we chose to go to the moon
We know it’s never too soon
To choose hope.
We choose to do more than cope
With climate change
We choose to end it—
We refuse to lose.”

“Making Mountains as We Run”

Gorman wrote and performed “Making Mountains as We Run” to honor Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow.

“President Bacow knows now is not the time to back out
The present is to act out of purpose, allow our service
To serve an us far greater than the yard.
The question is hard,
But how should we read our school’s creed?
When the mind is freed, when we take another look,
We see that the books are open,
The silence of a blank page broken
By truth being shared, written, spoken.”

Next, read on for more quotes about hope that will instantly lift you up.

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Stacey Marcus
Stacey Marcus is a regular contributor to RD.com where she covers subjects ranging from penguin secrets to Jeopardy! conundrums. Stacey’s work has also appeared on FamilyHandyman.com and TheHealthy.com as well as in top regional and national outlets including Boston magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Destination I Do, Ocean Home Magazine, and Playboy.com. She earned a BA in Communications from Simmons University.