Twenty-two-year-old youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman made history on Wednesday as the youngest poet to recite her poem at an inauguration. She read at an inauguration when she recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the 46th inauguration ceremony. Gorman’s eloquent words captured the sentiment of a people desperately seeking unity in the wake of a polarizing presidency that led to a violent insurrection. The young Black scribe gave her riveting performance wearing a yellow Prada coat and red Prada headband that cradled her crocheted bun.
However, her jewelry, gifted to her by Oprah Winfrey, was even more significant. The spirited poet wore a ring in the shape of a caged bird from Of Rare Origin and a pair of gold hoop earrings from Nikos Koulis, CNN reports. Oprah took to Twitter to praise Gorman and share how proud Maya Angelou must be watching from the heavens.
“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise,” she tweeted. “Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering — and so am I.”
Oprah sent Angelou a Chanel coat and gloves when she delivered her poem at the 1993 inauguration of former president Bill Clinton, sparking a tradition Oprah would continue with Gorman. The caged bird ring Gorman wore is a reminder of Angelou’s 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which describes the writer and poet’s early years.
Although Gorman has built a special connection with Oprah, she still finds herself fangirling out over the media mogul. In an interview with Vogue on the eve of the inauguration, Gorman opened up about what it’s like having Oprah text her.
“Every single time I get a text from [Oprah], I fall on the floor,” said Gorman. “[Fashion] has so much meaning to me, and it’s my way to lean into the history that came before me and all the people supporting me.”
As for her inspiring poem, Gorman called it a “daunting” task. “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.”
Barack Obama posted the clip of Gorman’s poem on being timely and appropriate for the climate.
Gorman may have been stressing about writing a poem that would reflect the current times and serve the poets like Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander who came before her — and she indeed prevailed.
Poet Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Look Included a Special Gift From Oprah was originally published on hellobeautiful.com