Daily Distraction: Watch poet Amanda Gorman recite 'The Hill We Climb' at the Biden inauguration

Andy Downing

A New York Times feature recently documented the struggle Los Angeles-raised poet Amanda Gorman experienced in writing "The Hill We Climb," a poem she read earlier today at the inauguration of President Joe Biden. A breakthrough arrived two weeks ago following the siege at the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob of Trump supporters, and the poem includes lines about the chaotic scene that unfolded that day:

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.

“In my poem, I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years," said Gorman, who at age 22 is the youngest poet to ever read at an inauguration. "But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal."

Watch Gorman read her remarkable poem in full below.


Amanda Gorman