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Amanda Gorman shares new poem on pandemic life

Amanda Gorman arrives at the InStyle Awards at The Getty Center on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 in Los Angeles
Jordan Strauss/Invision/The Associated Press

Amanda Gorman is turning pandemic life into poetry, saying in a new piece about COVID-19, “We have lost too much to lose.”

The 23-year-old author — who shot to stardom after performing “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration in January — recited her new coronavirus-focused composition in a Tuesday appearance on “CBS Mornings.”

“Every cough seemed catastrophe. Every proximate person a potential peril. We mapped each sneeze and sniffle certain that the virus we had run away from was now running through us,” Gorman wrote in “Fugue,” a poem from her forthcoming book, “Call Us What We Carry.”

“It was part of me trying to document I think the social-emotional reality of what a pandemic is,” Gorman told host Gayle King. “I can give you facts, I can give you numbers, I can give you deaths, but when you’re walking through life afraid to breathe, afraid to be close and proximate to people, I think that does something to the body and to the soul.”

“We slept the days down. We wept the year away, frayed and afraid. We spent days as the walking dead, dreading disease and disaster,” Gorman wrote in “Fugue.”

The first youth poet laureate of the United States told King, “In many ways, we’re really lacking language in how to grieve, how to be at loss. I wanted to create rhetoric that could more accurately represent our experience.”

Gorman, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, also said she hasn’t given up on her dream of running for president in 2036.

“I think there’s a type of spirit in me which feels if I’m not going to dream a dream for myself, who is going to? If not now, when? If not here, where? If not me, who?” she said. “So it’s kind of that questioning of both myself and the world that gives me these ideas of how are the ways I can continue to make change.”

Tags Amanda Gorman American poets call us what we carry CBS This Morning Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic Gayle King Joe Biden Poetry the hill we climb

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