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Before me, the youngest poet to have done it was Richard Blanco, who was 44 at the time. It’s important for the next generation to see. If you look statistically, the people feeling most depressed at this time [are in] my age group. It’s the Gen-Zers. To have space in such a public and important event where that youth and that generation can have a voice—I’m just so honored that I get to stand in that role.That was always a difficult question, particularly for me growing up with a speech impediment, which I only overcame a few years ago. The idea that I would have to recite this poem in front of other people was daunting, but also a really powerful and important and beautiful part of it too. The oration of poetry, I consider to be its own art form and tradition. Before you had [written] language systems you had oral language systems, where truths are passed down by word of mouth.
I’m almost like, is there a preparation for that? For me, it’s getting familiar enough with the poem, but I don’t want to bang it over the head to the point that, when I get on stage, I’m a robot. I still want it to be from the heart, so it’s practicing, rehearsing, but also making sure that inside me, it lives there. I try to approach reading in front of millions of people as I would reading in somebody’s living room. I’m trying to make this as special as I can for the American people, given that it’s a virtual reading. I want to challenge myself to imagine that closeness.The difficult thing about writing a poem like this is that you want to write it for a country, but you also want it to be accessible. You want it to be representative of all the colors and characters of people who might be watching it. Preparing for that [involved] reading the previous inaugural poems and trying to focus on what they do well. I’ve also looked to Abraham Lincoln or Frederick Douglass, who I love as a writer, or Martin Luther King, and the ways in which they used words to communicate the ideals of the nation in elegant rhetoric that [never] felt as if it was locked away in an ivory tower.
It was an incredibly daunting poem to write. As I was talking with Elizabeth and Richard, they were very honest in saying, “Look, you’re giving a recital in an inauguration that is unlike any other.” There are all these different kinds of layers of stress that are on the American people right now. It was a hill I had to climb in itself. I wrote it with the idea that this isn’t the moment to say, “Ding-dong the witch is dead,” and dance on the grave of Trump. It’s a real opportunity to unite the people of the United States and focus our gaze on the future, and the ways in which we can collaborate and move forward together. I’m not gonna lie and say that I’m not scared. But I’m gratified in the fact that courage isn’t the absence of fear, but acting despite that fear. There comes this knowledge and this faith that I was made for this moment. Not in an egotistical way, not in saying that I’m better than anyone else, but I was called by the Bidens for a reason, and this moment has called me for a reason, so all I can do is show up and do my absolute best. That’s all I can ask of myself.
Suitable for Women/Men/Girl/Boy, Fashion 3D digital print drawstring hoodies, long sleeve with big pocket front. It’s a good gift for birthday/Christmas and so on, The real color of the item may be slightly different from the pictures shown on website caused by many factors such as brightness of your monitor and light brightness, The print on the item might be slightly different from pictures for different batch productions, There may be 1-2 cm deviation in different sizes, locations, and stretch of fabrics. Size chart is for reference only, there may be a little difference with what you get.
- Material Type: 35% Cotton – 65% Polyester
- Soft material feels great on your skin and very light
- Features pronounced sleeve cuffs, prominent waistband hem and kangaroo pocket fringes
- Taped neck and shoulders for comfort and style
- Print: Dye-sublimation printing, colors won’t fade or peel
- Wash Care: Recommendation Wash it by hand in below 30-degree water, hang to dry in shade, prohibit bleaching, Low Iron if Necessary
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