The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

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.

National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reads her work, “An American Lyric,” at the inaugural reading of Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, September 13, 2017. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Claim your copy of A Bridgetender’s View: Notes on Gratitude today and you’ll be supporting StoryCorps too! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

2 thoughts on “Even More Impressed with Amanda Gorman

  1. Lyn says:

    So uplifting that many youth are socially conscious, active and empowered to make changes that others have fought and struggled to do for centuries. The efforts of those that stood against the status quo, for what’s right, shines so bright in today’s gifted young that the darkness is fading. However, they need the support of those in power to expedite their influences and Biden recognizes that. He also knows our success is contingent upon input from people of all ages, ability and diversity. We all contributed to the problems, but are all capable of contributing to the solutions and those, like Amanda, help us realize that. It’s amazing how a disability can lead to an ability you never knew you possessed till you met the challenge.

    1. Yes, it is amazing. And she’s amazing. And so are you! 🙂

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