Amanda Gorman reads a poem at inauguration

names let me introduce amanda gorman our nation’s first ever national poet laureate mr president dr biden madam vice president mr imhof americans and the world when day comes we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade the loss we carry a sea we must wade we’ve braved the belly of the beast we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace in the norms and notions of what just is isn’t always just this and yet the dawn is hours before we knew it somehow we do it somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished we the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one and yes we are far from paulist far from pristine but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect we are striving to forge our union with purpose to compose a country committed to all cultures colors characters and conditions of man and so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us but what stands before us we close the divide because we know to put our future first we must first put our differences aside we lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another we seek harm to none and harmony for all let the globe if nothing else say this is true that even as we grieved we grew that even as we hurt we hoped that even as we tired we tried that we’ll forever be tied together victorious not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid if we’re to live up to our own time then victory won’t lie in the blade but in all the bridges we’ve made that is the promise to glade the hill we climb if only we dare it’s because being american is more than a pride we inherit it’s the past we step into and how we repair it we’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy and this effort very nearly succeeded but while democracy can be periodically delayed it can never be permanently defeated in this truth in this faith we trust for while we have our eyes on the future history has its eyes on us this is the era of just redemption we feared it at its inception we did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour but within it we found the power to author a new chapter to offer hope and laughter to ourselves so while once we asked how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe now we assert how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us we will not march back to what was but move to what shall be a country that is bruised but whole benevolent but bold fierce and free we will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation our blenders become their burdens but one thing is certain if we merge mercy with mites and mites with rights then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright so let us leave behind a country better than one we were left with every breath from our bronze pounded chest we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one we will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west we will rise from the wind swept northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution we will rise from the lake rim cities of the midwestern states we will rise from the sun baked south we will rebuild reconcile and recover and every known nook of our nation in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful when day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid the new dawn blooms as we free it for there was always light if only were brave enough to see it if only were brave enough to be it wow [Applause] how’s that for a national debut most of us will remember where we were when we heard joe biden take the oath of office give his inaugural address you will all remember when we heard amanda gorman speak to the world as america’s first national youth poetry

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