By Jill Brooke
Prior to hearing Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural poem, I had asked floral artist Jackie Kramer for a photograph that conveys a joyful sense of hope.
Here is what she gave us. Beautiful, isn’t it?
And speaking of hope, did you notice that in Amanda S. C. Gorman’s Inaugural poem, she, like poets and artists throughout the centuries, invoked a flower to describe a vision of the future.
“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 are brave enough to be it.”
This photo spoke to the message of Gorman’s poem which is why we selected it. It simultaneously shows the necessity of work to create beauty and is both strong but not dense, light, and playful while also purposeful.
How amazing is it that a poem has touched the hearts of so many Americans? For quite some time, I have wanted to add poems that reference flowers as part of a section on Flower Power Daily but have been discouraged. “People don’t care about poems,” a colleague told me. “What poem does anyone know?
Now that may have changed. The lyricism and metaphor of poetry have been revived thanks to the eloquence and brilliance of this young woman who at 22 was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate.
Only four presidents—John F. Kennedy in 1961, Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1997, Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013, and Joe Biden in 2021—have had poets read at their inaugurations. These presidents were known for their appreciation of reading and literature. The poets chosen include Robert Frost, Richard Bianco and Maya Angelou.
Here is the text of her poem “The Hill We Climb” that will be part of our national memory forever.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.
Photo Credit: Jackie Kramer