Amanda Gorman’s vision for America in Inauguration poem “The Hill We Climb”


Amanda Gorman performing her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the Inauguration of the 46th President. Courtesy of Reuters

Joe Biden took oath as the 46th President of the United States on January 20th of this new year. At the Inauguration at the US Capitol, Amanda Gorman has a chance to speak to America. The 22-year-old black young female recited “The Hill We Climb” and became the youngest person to deliver a poem at a US presidential inauguration.

The attack of the U.S. Capital just days before the inauguration is what further propelled Gorman’s purpose for her poem. She wanted this poem to be a message of “hope and unity” which she saw was more needed after the attack. 

Gorman encourages America to not turn a blind eye to injustices. Although inequality has become “what just is” and normal in today’s society, recognition of these matters is important because “quiet isn’t always peace.” But in her eyes, the nation “isn’t broken,” it is “simply unfinished.”

“The Hill We Climb” is a call to action for Americans to learn that America is not perfect and that a perfect nation can simply not exist. Still, it’s citizens and government can instill “forge a union with purpose” through acceptance of pluralistic ideals. Instead of focusing on differences, America can be united to this common purpose. 

Parkview senior, Anusha Kotadiya, expresses that the poem “moved her” and was “beautifully written.”

“A line that stood out to me was ‘what just is isn’t always just-ice’ because justice is still needed in America. Especially for marginalized groups, equality is something we need to fight for continually.” 

The poem ends with the lines: “For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it If only we’re brave enough to be it.” Anusha was captivated by this ending, like most of America. The idea of democracy is something that will only be achieved by unity. The spark of inspiration these ending lines hold reminds us that with this new presidential era, Americans must stand together.