Joe Biden’s inauguration as president of the United States on Wednesday was marked with a stirring poem. Amanda Gorman, 23, read her work “The Hill We Climb” to usher in the new presidency. “While democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated,” Gorman’s poem read in part. “In this truth, in this faith, we trust. For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.” The Harvard grad reportedly finished the work in the hours after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
Gorman, a Black woman and a native of Los Angeles, has one thing in common with President Biden; according to NPR, she also had a speech impediment growing up, which she said helped draw her to poetry. "Having an arena in which I could express my thoughts freely was just so liberating that I fell head over heels, you know, when I was barely a toddler," she told NPR. She joins Robert Frost (Kennedy) and Maya Angelou (Clinton) on the short list of poets to perform at a presidential inauguration.