The Gift Outright

Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the inauguration of Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Amanda Gorman, youth poet laureate, can’t believe she wasn’t murdered at Joe Biden’s inauguration.


have some good news for Amanda Gorman: Americans don’t murder our poets.

Gorman, who embarked on her splendid career as a poet of the oppressed while studying at a $50,000-a-year private school in Santa Monica, Calif., and then carried the work on to Harvard with the financial support of the Milken Family Foundation, was named the nation’s first “youth poet laureate,” and read a poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration.

It is not a very good poem, but Americans are not a very poetic people.

Gorman writes in the New York Times (as all the downtrodden do) that

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