The video above was shared with me this morning. Amanda Gorman is the first Youth Poet Laureate of the United States. She is clearly a talented young woman and wise beyond her years. The poem she recites in the video above was commissioned for this time of pandemic, when as the show’s presenter says, “we need comfort and courage.”
In her poem she uses the rhythms I associate with the African-American preacher and Hip-Hop singer to express a bold challenge for us during this crisis. She begins, “I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning…But there’s something different on this golden morning.” Despite what she expects to see during this crisis she sees people who “might feel small, separate and alone” doing everyday things. Acts that strengthen them such as fingering a rosary, bring joy like chasing a dog, or bring health and togetherness such as going for a run pushing a baby stroller.
She sees us not drawing apart but more “closely tethered” and “weathering the unknown together.” As a people we are one in the defeat of disease and despair whether we are “healthcare heroes” employees, families artists, waiters, or school teachers.
She reminds us that grief gives gratitude, and teaches us how to find hope. She says we learn about love through loss, and that our aching hearts do not suffer in vain. Indeed, she says, “burdens braved by humankind … make us humans kind.”
She uses the metaphor of light to encourage us, writing that “we can’t be broken, even when we bend.” Also, that “we ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof.” We also are to heed “the light before the fight is over” never giving up that the light will come.
She is optimistic, hope filled, challenging, and uplifting as perhaps only the young can be. Which is why we need her poems as much as we need our doctors and scientists. We need the heart as much as we need the head, maybe even more at times like these. For the head may find the cure, but it is the heart that keeps us striving toward it. It is the heart that strengthens us to keep us going until that miracle morning comes.
The complete text of “The Miracle of Morning” by Amanda Gorman can be found here https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amanda-gorman-youth-poet-laureate-coronavirus-pandemic/