Opinion: Amanda Gorman is awesome!


Stephen C. Leverton II, Opinion Writer

When reciting her poem on Inauguration Day National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman moved millions. On Feb. 7, she became the first to recite a poem at the Super Bowl. Both poems are different from each other; the inauguration poem focused on unity and the future of the country, while the Super Bowl poem focused on three “captains” highlighted that night. 

Gorman’s first poem, called “The Hill We Climb,” focused on the same values the Biden campaign ran on in 2020: we will rise above division and hatred. Gorman’s poem came two weeks after the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building, in which the nation watched thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump storm the Capitol in an attempt to overturn a legal election. She brings up the event in her poem, saying “We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation, rather than share it. 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.” Gorman successfully spins a tragedy into a symbol of hope; regardless of what outside forces try to do to hurt American democracy, it will always prevail. While her words captivate you, her use of body language helps you feel the poem. Her hands help paint a picture that she is creating with her words, emphasizing on keywords. It’s remarkable how effectively she used both to convey her points. 

Gorman’s Super Bowl poem highlighted different people who have helped make a difference during the pandemic; a teacher, a health care worker and a veteran. Each has done selfless acts during the pandemic, from helping connect their community to the internet to saving lives in an ICU. Intense music and Gorman’s body language helps further the impact these “captains” have on our society. Gorman ends her poem with a battle cry, saying “Let us walk with these warriors, Charge on with these champions … For while we honor them today, It is they who every day honor us.” 

Not only does Gorman have two national renowned poems under her belt, but she’s also a cum laude graduate of Harvard University, has three books scheduled to be released in September, and has received multiple awards and recognitions from YoungArts to Scholastic Inc. As impressive as she is, she’s only 22 years old. She still has a lifetime left to continue to awe and inspire millions nationwide.