Summary List PlacementStudents and historians will study Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb up” following her spectacular performance at the 2021 governmental inauguration..
Gorman, a 22- year-old and the country’s very first youth poet laureate, read her work after the swearing in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Find out more: Meet 14 Joe Biden member of the family who might be powerful surrogates– or possible headaches– for the brand-new Democratic president’s administration.
In her six-minute performance, Gorman alluded to the works of excellent American authors and speakers like Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, and Abraham Lincoln..
The poet informed NPR she deeply researched her work by reading American literature and studying efficiencies by other poet laureates.
” I believe there is a real history of orators who have actually had to battle, a kind of enforced voicelessness, you know, having that phase at inauguration,” Gorman said. “So it’s actually special for me.”.
Here are 9 references Gorman’s poem made to iconic American literature.SEE ALSO: Amanda Gorman stole the program at Biden’s inauguration: Meet the 22- year-old poet laureate who gave a historical 5-minute speech that’s gone viral.
Gorman mentioned fellow inaugural poet Maya Angelou’s poem, ‘Still I Increase.’.
Gorman referenced the Angelou poem “Still I Rise,” about the poet conquering prejudice as a Black female, when she stated: “We will increase through the golden hills of the West. We will increase from the windswept Northeast, where our predecessors initially understood revolution. We will increase from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states. We will increase from the sun-baked South.”.
Angelou, a Pulitzer Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, preformed her poem “On the Pulse of Early Morning” at Costs Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. Gorman told Style she studied Angelou’s work to get ready for her reading.
Famous lines from Martin Luther King Jr.’s address throughout the 1963 March on Washington appeared in the poem.
Gorman referenced lines from King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech when she said: “We are aiming to forge our union with function, to compose a nation dedicated to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.”.
King famously stated throughout his speech, “I have a dream that my four kids will one day reside in a nation where they will not be evaluated by the color of their skin however by the material of their character.”.
Gorman nodded to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
In 1863, Lincoln provided the Gettysburg Address in part to inspire soldiers fighting the civil war by stating, “It is for us the living, rather, to be devoted here to the incomplete work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”.
Gorman nodded to Lincoln’s “incomplete work” in her line: “In some way we do it, in some way we’ve weathered and seen a nation that isn’t broken but merely unfinished.”.
Gorman recommendations two iconic Langston Hughes poems in a single line.
Toward the end of her poem, Gorman said: “In every recognized nook of our nation, in every corner called our country, our people, diverse and lovely, will emerge battered and lovely.”.
The last 3 words admire 2 iconic works– “I, Too” and “Still Here”– by fellow poet Langston Hughes..
Hughes starts “Still Here” with, “I’ve been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done spread.” The poet ends “I, Too” with, “They’ll see how beautiful I am and repent– I, too, am America.”.
Gorman referenced an expression utilized frequently by George Washington.
George Washington utilized the biblical expression “under their vine and fig tree” many times in correspondence, according to historian George Tsakiridis.
Gorman referrals this phrase when she stated, “Bible tells us to picture that everybody will sit under their own vine and fig tree and nobody will make them scared.”.
Gorman references Barack Obama’s campaign motto “modification we can believe in.”.
Gorman stated, “If we merge mercy with may and might with right, then enjoy becomes our tradition and alter our kids’s bequest.”.
Approval to “alter” brings back Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan and acceptance address line, “modification has actually come to America.”.
Gorman appeared to reference a well-known saying from abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
When Gorman stated, “Being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we fix it,” she might have been describing a popular saying by Douglass: “It is much easier to build strong children than to repair damaged men.”.
The poet said she studied Douglass’s work prior to her address.
Gorman nodded to Nobel Reward winner William Faulkner’s work, “Intruder In the Dust.”.
In “Burglar in the Dust,” Faulkner’s 1948 book that explores Jim Crow’s effect on the American South, the author stated Americans like nothing but their vehicle, which they invest Sunday “polishing and waxing” and renews each year in “beautiful virginity.”.
Gorman seemed to reference this work when she stated, “And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, however that does not imply we are making every effort to form a union that is ideal.”.
The title of her poem referrals the sermon of English settler John Winthrop.
Gorman’s poem title, “The Hill We Climb up,” appeared to call out the description Winthrop offered New England: a “city upon a hill” that would set an example for the remainder of the world.
REWARD: Gorman made two references to Lin Manuel-Miranda’s award-winning play, ‘Hamilton.’.
Gorman said on Twitter she made two recommendations to the Tony Award winning musical, “Hamilton.”.
Tweet Embed:// twitter.com/mims/statuses/1351950970276769793? ref_src= twsrc^tfw Thx @Lin_Manuel! Did you capture the 2 @HamiltonMusical recommendations in the inaugural poem? I could not assist myself! https://t.co/22 UTKkGTLq
The first, “for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us,” alludes to the song, “History Has Its Eyes on You.”.
The 2nd is in recommendation to Washington’s saying, “under their vine and fig tree,” which the character in “Hamilton” likewise called to in the play.