"The Hill We Climb," by Amanda Gorman

22-year-old Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in American history when she read her poem "The Hill We Climb" at President Biden's inauguration on January 20, 2021. The poem conveys both optimism and realism, referring to the progress that the U.S. has made as a nation, and the work that remains to be done.
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Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. benevolent
    showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding
    We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.
  2. blunder
    an embarrassing mistake
    Our blunders become their burdens.
  3. catastrophe
    a sudden violent change in the earth's surface
    So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
  4. democracy
    the orientation of those who favor government by the people
    Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
  5. envision
    imagine, conceive of, or see in one's mind
    Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.
  6. heir
    a person entitled by law to inherit the estate of another
    We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour.
  7. inception
    an event that is a beginning
    We feared at its inception.
  8. inertia
    the tendency of something to stay in rest or motion
    We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future.
  9. inheritance
    hereditary succession to a title or an office or property
    We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future.
  10. intimidation
    the act of scaring a weaker person to make them do something
    We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future.
  11. norm
    a standard or model or pattern regarded as typical
    We've learned that quiet isn't always peace, and the norms and notions of what "just" is isn't always justice.
  12. prevail
    be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance
    So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
  13. pristine
    immaculately clean and unused
    And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn't mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
  14. reconcile
    come to terms
    We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.
  15. scripture
    any writing that is regarded as sacred by a religious group
    Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.
  16. sow
    place seeds in or on the ground for future growth
    Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
  17. strive
    attempt by employing effort
    And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn't mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
  18. successor
    a person who follows next in order
    We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.
  19. wade
    walk through relatively shallow water
    A sea we must wade.
  20. weathered
    worn by exposure to the elements
    Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn't broken, but simply unfinished.
Created on January 21, 2021 (updated January 21, 2021)

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