Amanda Gorman delivered a moving speech at the Biden presidential inauguration. Although she is just 23 years old, her advanced maturity and elegance are clearly present in the words she delivered to the people of the United States.
Gorman begins her poem, “The Hill We Climb” with a formal and polite address of President Biden, Americans, as well as the world. This introduction felt natural and allowed for a clean transition to the rhythmic body of her poem.
She reminds her audience of the strides America has made toward equality when she says, “…where a skinny black girl descended from slaves can dream of being president, only to find herself reciting for one.”
Through this line, Gorman makes the audience aware of the needed changes America has made since its creation, as well as the possibility of a diverse future where anyone can be a leader.
By incorporating the aspect of hope, Gorman effectively addresses the youth who may be listening to her presentation and she gives them the message to dream big, for they could find themselves in a position of power in the future.
Gorman has a knack for effortlessly incorporating alliteration into her words, which gave her poem a smooth flow and rhythm. She says, “If we merge mercy with might…” which not only sounds pleasing to listeners in the crowd, but also delivers the powerful message that America can continue to change for the better through compassion and bravery.
Other phrases such as “reconcile and recover” and “battered and beautiful” increase the cohesion of the poem and kept the audience on the edge of their seats, awaiting further rhythmic phrases from Gorman’s lips.
“To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, and conditions of man” is a particularly thought-provoking line featuring alliteration that adds to the message of a bright future for the United States, aided by the Biden administration.
Gorman consistently speaks with full force, unapologetically confident in her poem and presentation. Her hand motions throughout the poem added to the profound delivery of the speech. Gorman gestures and extends her forearms as she says, “We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms…”, which adds to the lively and dynamic quality of her poem.
Toward the closing portion of her poem, Gorman excellently calls the audience and the Biden administration to action. She says, “we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one…we will rise…reconcile, recover.”
Through this eloquent statement, Gorman leaves the audience with the task of making America a better country, which is a fitting message to deliver at the presidential inauguration. She also says, “Our blunders become their burdens. Love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.”
Listeners have no choice but to agree with the soothing words Gorman produces. The pleasing way in which she delivers her poem moves the audience to envision a brighter America and a brighter world.
She closes her poem with a positive and thought-provoking message: “There is always light if we are brave enough to see it…if we are brave enough to be it.”
Gorman’s poetry brings both hope to a new administration as well as expectations for citizens of the United States.
“The Hill We Climb” features a beautiful message of healing that Americans desperately needed to hear at this time, and the way in which Gorman delivered her words was nothing short of spectacular.