Current Events Poetry

“When Day Comes, We Step out of the Shade Aflame and Unafraid”

I studied poetry as an undergrad, but I haven’t given it much thought since graduation.1 I think the last book of poetry I bought was by Walt Whitman at a museum in 2005. It’s probably yellowing now in storage next to books by Shakespeare and Sharon Olds.

But, today, my appreciation for poetry was rekindled. Amanda Gorman’s poem at the inauguration, “The Hill We Climb,” was powerful and moving. She found just the right combination of words to articulate our frustrations today and dreams for tomorrow. She was clearly inspired by pain and rage — but also hope and empathy. It was a masterpiece.

See for yourself: 

I’m awestruck (and pretty damn jealous) of her literary power. 

Perhaps it’s time to dig up those old poetry books — and maybe even take a stab at a stanza or two myself. If this is what poetry is today, I want to be a part of it.

1 When I earned my MBA, we had to read Milton Friedman, not John Milton.