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Much like the one before it, 2021 was a complicated year characterized by a great deal of tragedy and grief. But as we move into 2022, American poet and activist Amanda Gorman is receiving the new year with a spirit of hope. On December 29, the inspiring 23-year-old released a new, never-before-read poem titled New Day’s Lyric. With just five stanzas and 48 lines, the moving piece holds space for the whirlwind of emotions that have accompanied such trying times while also embracing the healing and promise of a new day.
“This is such a unique New Year’s Day, because even as we toast our glasses to the future, we still have our heads bowed for what has been lost,” Gorman remarked. “I think one of the most important things the new year reminds us is of that old adage: This too shall pass. You can’t relive the same day twice—meaning every dawn is a new one, and every year an opportunity to step into the light.”
The last stanza of the New Day’s Lyric even gives a new interpretation to the New Year’s classic Auld Lang Syne. Gorman’s spin on the nostalgic song’s words encourages all to “be bold” while honoring the past so that we may then overcome as we move to the future. And the phenomenal energy her message brings is one sorely needed as we stand on the precipice of yet another unpredictable year.
Gorman released the poem in partnership with Instagram on the platform’s official account as well as her own. In her own follow-up post, she explained that her collaboration with the social media conglomerate is part of an effort to raise funds for the International Rescue Committee. The global humanitarian organization has responded to the pandemic to provide life-saving programs to vulnerable communities around the world. As part of the initiative, Instagram has already pledged $50,000.
“I just feel so fortunate that I’ve been able to do this project at all, let alone with a partner like Instagram,” Gorman explains. “It’s very rare in anyone’s life that you might have the fortune, by which to call up one of the most global platforms in our world and say, ‘Hey, I have this idea.' And get such an eager and enthusiastic response.
“I’m looking forward to working with Instagram because part of what inspired me to write this New Year’s poem was thinking about the narratives and the stories that I’ve seen shared throughout the past two years, whether it’s reconciling with grief, loss, social change, climate change. And so, many of those narratives, I feel, we interact or meet with on social media.”
Scroll down to see Gorman read the powerful words of her latest poem, New Day’s Lyric, with inspiring conviction.
Amanda Gorman released a New Year's poem with an inspiring message of hope.
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