Amanda Gorman Delivers Powerful Inaugural Poem, The Hill We Climb

Posted on January 21, 2021

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Poet Amanda Gorman is receiving high marks for her reading at Joe Biden's inauguration. Gorman is the inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate and the youngest person to read a poem at a presidential inauguration. She read her poem, "The Hill We Climb."

The Wikipedia entry for Gorman says she was recommended by Jill Biden. She was an excellent choice. Her poem captured the growing need for unity after the U.S. Capitol was stormed by an angry mob. It also illustrated the goals and hopes President Biden made in his speech.

The poem ends with these powerful lines:

When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid, the new dawn balloons, as we free it.
For there was always light.
If only we're brave enough to see it.
If only we're brave enough to be it.

You can read a full transcript of "The Hill We Climb" on

Amanda talked with Anderson Cooper on CNN about the poem. She says she was about halfway through her research process when the January 6 insurrection happened at the U.S. Capitol. She says this "energized me even more to believe that much more firmly in a message of hope, and community and healing." She says, "I felt that that was the type of poem I needed to write and that was the type of poem that the country and the world needed to hear."

Gorman told Cooper that she is motivated by words and not images. She begin writing at a very young age and has overcome a speech impediment.

Amanda Gorman will release her debuty poetry collection, The Hill We Climb, in September 2021. It is available for pre-order on The collection includes her inaugural poem. Gorman has also published a children's picture book, Change Sings: A Children's Anthem. Both of these books are currently topping Amazon's charts.

Here is a video of the inaugural poem reading.

Image: Viking Books

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