Amanda Gorman’s Poem for Inauguration Day

I. Who is Amanda Gorman, and what has she been asked to do? 

II. Watch the video about Amanda Gorman and answer the following questions with one word.

  1. How old is Amanda Gorman?
  2. What topics does Amanda Gorman explore in her poetry? R_______________, m_______________, A______________ H_______________.
  3. At what age was she named the nation’s first youth laureate poet?
  4. When did she start to write the inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb”?
  5. Where is she from?
  6. What impediment did she have as a child?
  7. Who had this impediment too?
  8. What is the power of poetry for her? Poetry is a w_______________
  9. What university did she recently graduate from?
  10. What are her political aspirations?

Transcript

III. Listen to Amanda read her poem and comment on the following questions.

  1. What do you notice? 
  2. What do you wonder?
  3. What stands out to you?
  4. Why might poets be tapped to read or speak at Presidential Inaugurations? 

Transcript

IV. Read & listen to the “The Miracle of Morning”, a poem written by Amanda Gorman in 2020. Write a short text (50 words) explaining what the poem is about and how you feel about it.

The Miracle of Morning by Amanda Gorman

I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.

Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.

But there’s something different on this golden morning.

Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.

 

I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.

Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog.

A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries.

She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.

 

While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,

Our people have never been more closely tethered.

The question isn’t if we will weather this unknown,

But how we will weather this unknown together.

 

So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.

Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.

 

As one, we will defeat both despair and disease.

We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees;

With families, libraries, schools, waiters, artists;

Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.

 

We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,

For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.

In this chaos, we will discover clarity.

In suffering, we must find solidarity.

 

For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,

Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.

So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain:

Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.

 

Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.

Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.

From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.

 

We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind

Are also the moments that make us humans kind;

Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer;

Heeding the light before the fight is over.

When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing

In testing times, we became the best of beings.

 

By Amanda Gorman — 2020

STUDENTS’ WORKSHEET

Source: PBS NewsHour

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