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A Response to Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb”

By Sophie Chiang, IV Form

A Response to Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb”

Editor’s Note: IV Form students in Ms. Lauren Kelly’s Survey of Literary Genres course were asked to craft a poem in response to Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised, but
whole; benevolent, but bold; fierce and free” (Amanda Gorman).

Make America great again,
They chant ominously.
A sea of red-hatted zombies,
Brainwashed and hijacked by this view
Of a beautiful country.

“Go back to Chyyna!” he sneers,
Teeth bared and mocking.
What he doesn’t know that in China,
The people call America “mei guo”,
meaning beautiful country.

How could it be that this land
Is beautiful?
Where first graders hide under decaying desks
And in dirty bathrooms
To live past the gunshots?

Is it really beautiful,
When people who possess skin
That is too dark to be worthy,
Face brutality and discrimination,
Terrorization and demonization?

We will not make America great again,
In all honesty,
it never was.
We will not march back to what it once was,
But move on to what it will be,

United and free,
Compassionate and loving,
Bold and brave,
Fulfilling the prophecy of “mei guo”,
A beautiful country.

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