In case you’ve been living under a rock, Amanda Gorman is the 22-year-old National Youth Poet Laureate who recited this amazing poem at Biden’s inauguration. The minute she opened her mouth, I was mesmerized. The words, the syntax, and the way she was moving her hands, it all seemed like a well-choreographed, artistic dance of mind, body, and spirit. That’s something you don’t normally see in one so young. That, and more superficially, I adored her coat and hat, and she’s absolutely beautiful.
From less than 6 minutes on stage, she has become America’s Sweetheart, and rightly so. She gives me hope for the future of this nation. We need more poets. (And isn’t it refreshing to have a leader who allows others to shine in his presence?)
The only criticism I’ve come across is that some folks think the poem should have rhymed. What are we? Three years old? Poems do NOT have to rhyme. I actually prefer the ones that don’t.
But what I just learned, from this article, is that Ms. Gorman has speech and auditory processing disorders, most likely from having been born prematurely. She struggles to pronounce and hear certain sounds. She has particular trouble with the letter R and SH. She was entirely incapable of pronouncing Rs until two or three short years ago. She actually took up poetry to help herself overcome these issues.
Now that you know that about her, listen to her recitation again. Knowing what you now know, it’s even more remarkable that she was able to do it so perfectly and while exuding so much self-confidence. I’m sure she is a role model to many. I am so impressed.
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