Poetry is not a luxury
ABC 139: On the hill we climb
In college, I was part of a spoken word poetry team. We would travel around the country to compete against other schools. Like a gymnastics floor routine, our poems would be judged on a 10-point scale—8.7 for the poet from Penn!
In rehearsal, we’d ask ourselves a single question to determine a poem’s quality: was it urgent? The best poems felt necessary. They gave form to that shapeless something for which you might not have had the words but already deeply felt.
This week, we were blessed with one such poem. A 22-year-old poet from Los Angeles was able to cut through all the noise and captivate an entire country.
Rather than send out one of the many excellent articles on Amanda Gorman, I wanted instead to send out the transcript of the poem itself. The best poems can—and should!—be read and re-read. Her words are as urgent as ever.
Here’s the piece: The Hill We Climb
P.S. Sharing one of the best west coast hip-hop songs ever written. Sit back, relax, and let the problems in your mind become ancient artifacts. The full songs of the week playlist is here.
P.P.S. Have a friend that would dig the ABC? Send ‘em here.