‘An inspiration to us all’: Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem stirs hope and awe

Adam Gabbatt in The Guardian:

The inauguration of Joe Biden featured a slew of high-profile performers on Wednesday, but for many it was the lesser-known Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in US history, who truly wowed the crowd. Gorman, who was named the first-ever national youth poet laureate in 2017, gave a powerful, five-minute performance after Biden was sworn in. She recited a poem she had written, in part, on the day of the US Capitol riots on 6 January. It was a tour-de-force from Gorman, who was approached by the Biden inaugural committee in late December, as the 22-year-old called for Americans to “leave behind a country better than the one we were left”. “We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,” Gorman read. “Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.”

The performance won instant plaudits, including from Michelle Obama, who sat just behind Gorman as she spoke. “With her strong and poignant words, @TheAmandaGorman reminds us of the power we each hold in upholding our democracy. Keep shining, Amanda! I can’t wait to see what you do next,” Obama tweeted.

More here.