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Friday, January 22, 2021




By Amanda Gorman. Recited at the Inauguration of President Joseph Biden January 20, 2021 

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 
And the norms and notions of what just is 
Isn’t always just-ice 
And yet the dawn is ours 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 polished far from pristine 
but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect 
We are striving to forge a 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 promised 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 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 blunders become their burdens 
But one thing is certain: 
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright 
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left with 
 Every breath from my 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 windswept northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution 
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked south 
 We will rebuild, reconcile and recover and every known nook of our nation and 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 is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it 
 If only we’re brave enough to be it.

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