Amanda Gorman, who is only 22 years old, is the youngest ever poet to recite at a presidential inauguration.
In a lineup of performances which included Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, it is this young poet who stole the show at Joe Biden’s swearing in.
Gorman has joined a prestigious group of poets, which includes literary greats Maya Angelou and Robert Frost, after reading from the podium to a global audience of billions.
Her reading of “The Hill We Climb” marked Biden’s first moments as 46th president of the United States.
It was a five-minute poem calling for “unity and togetherness” at a time of unprecedented crisis for America.
She opened the recital some lines about her own upbringing, describing her background as a “skinny Black girl, descended from slaves and raised by a single mother,” who can dream of being president one day, “only to find herself reciting for one.”
She went on to address the storming of the Capitol last month – the very same location she spoke from.
“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy,” she declared.
“And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.”
Despite condemning the violence which Trump had whipped up in his final weeks in office, neither she nor Biden mentioned his name.
Instead, she delivered her lines with grace, which could not have been an easy achievement for the young poet, who suffered from a speech impediment as a child.
Wednesday is unlikely to be the brightest in the career of Gorman, whose debut poetry collection, also called “The Hill We Climb”, will be released in September.
She also wants to run for president in 2036.
Video source: YouTube