People are praising Amanda Gorman for her history-making performance after she became the youngest-ever poet to read at a presidential inauguration.
According to the first National Youth Poet Laureate, she wanted the poem to be a “message of hope and unity”. The final length was about six minutes.
The Los Angeles native’s accomplishment, which saw her follow in the footsteps of other inaugural poets, including Maya Angelou and Robert Frost, was met with an outpouring of praise from viewers on social media.
“#AmandaGorman was stunning. The best inauguration poet since Maya Angelou,” one person tweeted.
Another said: “I’m thinking about all the little Black girls who are going to start writing or will pick up their pencils and pens again because of what they saw Amanda Gorman do today. In that moment, a new generation of voices emerged and I’m so glad about it.”
“Poet Amanda Gorman. Wow. A star,” someone else wrote on Twitter.
Also Amanda Gorman wins. And Maya Angelou smiles on her surely.
— Brittney Cooper (@ProfessorCrunk) January 20, 2021
— Mr. Spock 🖖 (Commentary) (@SpockResists) January 20, 2021
— Afro.Beer.Chick (@afrobeerchick) January 20, 2021
Amanda Gorman is a superstar. Good lord.
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) January 20, 2021
Among those praising Gorman were politicians and celebrities, including Senator Cory Booker, who tweeted: “Thank you, Amanda Gorman, for sharing such powerful and inspiring words today. #InaugurationDay" and Jada Pinkett Smith, who wrote: “Ms Amanda Gorman Ladies and Gentlemen!!!!”
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) January 20, 2021
— Tika Sumpter (@iamtikasumpter) January 20, 2021
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi also applauded Gorman, writing on Twitter: “Truly a highlight among today’s inauguration festivities. Thank you @TheAmandaGorman for your incomparable words!”
The poet also received approval from Lin-Manuel Miranda, who tweeted at Gorman: “YES," prompting the 22-year-old to respond: "Thx@Lin_Manuel! Did you catch the 2@HamiltonMusicalreferences in the inaugural poem? I couldn’t help myself!
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) January 20, 2021
Ahead of her reading, Gorman spoke with CBS News about the mantra she tells herself ahead of any performance, which invokes the strength of her ancestors.
"One of the preparations that I do always whenever I perform is I say a mantra to myself, which is 'I'm the daughter of black writers. We're descended from freedom fighters who broke through chains and changed the world. They call me.' And that is the way in which I prepare myself for the duty that needs to get done,” she said.
As for how it feels to be on stage, the poet told the outlet: “When I am on stage, I feel electric. I feel like I could breathe fire...like I am summoning the energy not only of myself but of my ancestors."