Celebrating Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb”

Amanda Gorman reading her poem "The Hill We Climb" at 2021 inauguration day
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For the first time in forever, things feel okay again— even TV is starting to feel like entertainment we are enjoying. Miss Scarlet and the Duke made its U.S. debut on PBS. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist reminded us that grief isn’t always a linear path. The Expanse gave us yet another remarkable episode for Naomi. A Discovery of Witches brought in a fan-favorite character, WandaVision premiered its third and best episode to date, and Bridgerton was renewed for a second season so everyone will likely be buzzing about this for a while. And it’s a new season in America, too and the 46th Inauguration Ceremony for President Joe Biden and (first ever) Madam Vice President Kamala Harris gave us a poetry reading by 22-year-old Amanda Gorman titled, “The Hills We Climb,” and it’s one we’ll never forget.

Source: YouTube / CNBC Television

When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.

Amanda Gorman

There are so few words to put into words the exhilarating joy and inspiration we lived through watching this woman boldly and vulnerably share her words with the entire world. For a moment, the world was quiet with her—the world (or rather most everyone watching) was vulnerable with her. For a moment, my entire Twitter timeline and text chains were full of praise for 22-year-old Amanda Gorman who shared her vulnerability with the world. For a moment, we were reminded of the fact that after the dark times America, and thus inadvertently the world lived through, restoration could come in the morning.

There are a number of ways in which bravery could manifest itself into action and sometimes it’s through a poem. It’s through the vulnerable bravery that’s required to read something that you’ve written, something you are passionate about out loud. It’s the vulnerable bravery to share your words with the rest of the world and we’ll be thankful every day that Gorman shared hers with us. “Our blunders become their burdens. But one thing is certain, if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.” Every little word choice in this poem is a powerful showcase of bravery—determination and what it means to be someone with compassion.

Compassion and bravery in this way is the very thing the world was lacking. It’s the very thing we’ve all been so desperate for four years now.

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 her 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.

Amanda Gorman

We could go on, quoting every word, taking apart every line in. “The Hill We Climb” (not to criticize but to praise) to find something new and beautiful. Something inspiring. Something that will make us feel braver in our own lives to do something with what we have. Words matter. Words have always mattered. Poetry matters. Creative outlets matter. Gorman took the words in her heart and gave us a creative treasure, reminding every single person who’s listening that what we do matters. Bravery matters— daring to try matters. It’s people— women, like Amanda Gorman whose bravery reminds us of the fact that faith and hope in America can be restored. It’s women like Amanda Gorman whose bravery and talent reminds us to always hold on to the importance of words and to use them to uplift.

At the end of the day, history will always remind us of the fact that words as beautiful as this will be a lasting treasure forever. History will remember Amanda Gorman, rightfully so, for many things, but at this moment, as the woman whose poem touched each of our hearts. If she does in fact run for president one day, she has our vote. Through and through.

This is the best thing we all watched this year, there was nothing better, so instead of asking what you all watched this week, we’ll ask this— what was your favorite part of Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb?”

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