Oprah gifted Amanda Gorman earrings, caged bird ring for inauguration
'My hope is that my poem will represent a moment of unity for our country.'
Amanda Gorman made history during Wednesday’s inauguration ceremonies when she became the youngest poet to take the stage to recite her poem “The Hill We Climb.”
Gorman was styled by Italian fashion label Prada, with jewelry gifted to her by Oprah Winfrey. During CBS News’ live broadcast of the event, Winfrey’s longtime bestie, veteran journalist Gayle King, revealed how Gorman was initially offered a coat in honor of late poet Maya Angelou, PEOPLE reports.
King explained, “Maya [Angelou] did Bill Clinton’s address. She reached out to Amanda because [Winfrey] bought Maya her coat that she wore that day,” King explained. “She said, ‘I’d like to get a coat for you to carry on that tradition.'”
“[Gorman] said, ‘I’ve already picked out my coat. It’s yellow. It’s my favorite color.'” So instead of a coat, Winfrey gave Gorman earrings and “a ring that’s shaped like a caged bird” as a tribute to Angelou’s ionic poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
After the ceremony, Gorman thanked Winfrey on Twitter: “I would be nowhere without the women whose footsteps I dance in,” she wrote, adding, “While reciting my poem, I wore a ring with a caged bird—a gift from @Oprah for the occasion , to symbolize Maya Angelou, a previous inaugural poet. Here’s to the women who have climbed my hills before.”
Former President Barack Obama also praised the rising star in a post on Twitter. “On a day for the history books, @TheAmandaGorman delivered a poem that more than met the moment. Young people like her are proof that “there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to be it,” he wrote.
Below is an excerpt of Gorman’s poem, via NPR:
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,
would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith, we trust.
For while we have our eyes on the future,
history has its eyes on us.
“My hope is that my poem will represent a moment of unity for our country,” Gorman told the Washington Post, “that with my words I’ll be able to speak to a new chapter and era for our nation.”
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