“We Heed This Old Spirit In A New Day’s Lyric”

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I’ve been trying to determine what would be my most appropriate first post of 2022. The New Year always provides the hope for new beginnings, a fresh start.

And yet we are less than a week away from the first anniversary of January 6, the insurrection that showed us our democracy’s fragility.

How to balance those competing visions of light and darkness?

I am reprinting a new poem by Amanda Gorman, our nation’s first Youth Poet Laureate, who recited “The Hill We Climb” so beautifully at President Biden’s inauguration.

Gorman said she wrote this poem to “honor the hardships, hurt, hope and healing of 2021 while also harkening the potential of 2022.” It appears in her first poetry collection: “Call Us What We Carry.”

New Day’s Lyric”

May this be the day
We come together.
Mourning, we come to mend,
Withered, we come to weather,
Torn, we come to tend,
Battered, we come to better.
Tethered by this year of yearning,
We are learning
That though we weren’t ready for this,
We have been readied by it.
We steadily vow that no matter
How we are weighed down,
We must always pave a way forward.

This hope is our door, our portal.
Even if we never get back to normal,
Someday we can venture beyond it,
To leave the known and take the first steps.
So let us not return to what was normal,
But reach toward what is next.

What was cursed, we will cure.
What was plagued, we will prove pure.
Where we tend to argue, we will try to agree,
Those fortunes we forswore, now the future we foresee,
Where we weren’t aware, we’re now awake;
Those moments we missed
Are now these moments we make,
The moments we meet,
And our hearts, once all together beaten,
Now all together beat.

Come, look up with kindness yet,
For even solace can be sourced from sorrow.
We remember, not just for the sake of yesterday,
But to take on tomorrow.

We heed this old spirit,
In a new day’s lyric,
In our hearts, we hear it:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
Be bold, sang Time this year,
Be bold, sang Time,
For when you honor yesterday,
Tomorrow ye will find.
Know what we’ve fought
Need not be forgot nor for none.
It defines us, binds us as one,
Come over, join this day just begun.
For wherever we come together,
We will forever overcome
.

–Amanda Gorman


You can listen to a New Yorker interview in which Amanda Gorman discusses her “Life After the Inauguration” with the magazine’s poetry editor, Kevin Young, here.

Annie

8 thoughts on ““We Heed This Old Spirit In A New Day’s Lyric”

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