Amanda Gorman’s Impact on the SRHS English Department

Amanda Gorman graces the cover of Time magazine after topping bestseller lists for her three books, interviewing with Michelle Obama, and signing with IMG Models. Although these are stellar accolades, SRHS senior Blancaflor says, “Gorman’s best accomplishment in my eyes is being such an inspiration, representative, and bright influence for BIPOC around the globe.” 
Photo By: Awol Erizku

Just over a month has passed since National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman captivated the world at Joe Biden’s inauguration. Since her recitation of “The Hill We Climb,” Gorman has gained an immense audience on and offline, she has performed at the Super Bowl, and her two books have raced to the top of bestselling lists. Now, her influence is making its way into classrooms.

Teachers were especially zealous after Gorman’s transcendent performance and moved quickly to incorporate Gorman and her work into their curriculum. In particular, English teachers at SRHS had sparked discussions of Gorman’s work during class. 

Jenesis Blancaflor, a senior at SRHS and a student in Ms. Kreock’s AP Literature class, appreciated the time spent focusing on Gorman during class. Blancaflor explained how her teacher had split the class into small groups where students discussed Gorman’s use of anaphora, metaphors, alliteration and symbols to illustrate a path towards change. Blancaflor said, “Digging deep into each line of Gorman’s poem allowed me to uncover the deeper messages within the lines. I was curious as to what Gorman’s process was when piecing this together in terms of figurative language and establishing tone — if it was something she intentionally made room for, or something that just came naturally to her.”

The English class went on to discuss Gorman’s writing process, from preparation to being influenced by recent events. Blancaflor added, “You can clearly tell that this poem was written for this moment. It really resonates with this period of transition and moving on to brighter days.”

Ultimately, Gorman’s poem went beyond the inaugural stage and touched the hearts and minds of educators and students alike — inspiring them to write and recite with the same passion and honesty as Gormon. 

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