Amanda Gorman created history when she became the youngest poet to perform at the United States presidential inauguration. The poem, ‘The Hill We Climb’, offered a promising vision for a divided country. The 23-year-old joined the ranks of previous inaugural poets, Elizabeth Alexander, Maya Angelou and Robert Frost, with her performance at the swearing-in ceremony of US President Joe Biden, and Vice-President Kamala Harris.
Sharing her future ambitions during a virtual chat on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday, Amanda said that she hoped to be present at another inauguration in the future. However, it would be as the president taking an oath of office. She said that she has dreamed of becoming president for years.
Watch Amanda talk about her president dreams here:
Amanda, wearing a mosaic-style outfit and yellow headband, was pictured sitting in front of a shelves full of books during the virtual chat. “This was a dream that I think came into existence around 6th grade,” she said, adding that the idea was born after her maths teacher jokingly said that she could run for president as she was a very passionate and feisty girl. Smilingly she added what she told her teacher: “You know what? That tracks. Let’s put that on the bulletin board for the future.”
Talking about her family’s reaction, she said that they took it very seriously because, according to her, whatever she says, she means business. Even her sister was cautious about being photographed at college parties. Amanda said: “She’d say, ‘Don’t get a photo of me. My sister is running for president 25 years from now. I can’t have an image coming up then.”
DeGeneres seemed inspired and told Amanda that they were behind her and even gave an “official endorsement” by displaying a t-shirt with the message ‘Amanda Gorman 2036 for President’ printed on it. Had a few other smaller fake campaign materials.
Amanda had suffered from a speech impediment but didn’t let it come in her way. When she was 16, she was named the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles.
On January 22, two days after Biden took oath as the 46th president of the United States, an elated Amanda posted on Instagram stating, “What a life.”
Her surging popularity has even started to reflect in the sales of her books. On January 20, she tweeted: “I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE #1 & #2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY! Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: "For words alone are certain good: Sing, then” (sic)”