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The Hill We Climb

Poem by Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet who stirred America at the inauguration of President Joseph Biden last month, again commanded the spotlight at the Super Bowl. She read an original poem Sunday during the pregame festivities in Tampa, FL. The poem, titled “Chorus of the Captains,” was a tribute to three people for their contributions during the pandemic: educator Trimaine Davis, nurse manager Suzie Dorner and Marine veteran James Martin.

Here is the text of her poem “The Hill We Climb” that brought instant stardom to the youth laureate poet, earning her a Time cover and a gig with IMG Models.

When day comes we ask ourselves,

where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry,

We’ve braved the belly of the beast

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace

And the norms and notions

of what just is

Isn’t always just-ice

And yet the dawn is ours

before we knew it

Somehow we do it

Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed

a nation that isn’t broken

but simply unfinished

We the successors of a country and a time

Where a skinny Black girl

descended from slaves and raised by a single mother

can dream of becoming president

only to find herself reciting for one

And yes we are far from polished

far from pristine

but that doesn’t mean we are

striving to form a union that is perfect

We are striving to forge a union with purpose

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and

conditions of man

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us

but what stands before us

We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,

we must first put our differences aside

We lay down our arms

so we can reach out our arms

to one another

We seek harm to none and harmony for all

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:

That even as we grieved, we grew

That even as we hurt, we hoped

That even as we tired, we tried

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious

Not because we will never again know defeat

but because we will never again sow division

Scripture tells us to envision

that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree

And no one shall make them afraid

If we’re to live up to our own time

Then victory won’t lie in the blade

But in all the bridges we’ve made

That is the promise to glade

The hill we climb

If only we dare

It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,

it’s the past we step into

and how we repair it

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation

rather than share it

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy

And this effort very nearly succeeded

But while democracy can be periodically delayed

it can never be permanently defeated

In this truth

in this faith we trust

For while we have our eyes on the future

history has its eyes on us

This is the era of just redemption

We feared at its inception

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs

of such a terrifying hour

but within it we found the power

to author a new chapter

To offer hope and laughter to ourselves

So while once we asked,

how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?

Now we assert

How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?

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

We will not be turned around

or interrupted by intimidation

because we know our inaction and inertia

will be the inheritance of the next generation

Our blunders become their burdens

But one thing is certain:

If we merge mercy with might,

and might with right,

then love becomes our legacy

and change our children’s birthright

So let us leave behind a country

better than the one we were left with

Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,

we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one

We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,

we will rise from the windswept northeast

where our forefathers first realized revolution

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,

we will rise from the sunbaked south

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover

and every known nook of our nation and

every corner called our country,

our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,

battered and beautiful

When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid

The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

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Zone of Silence as Muse

 Nature bears poetry within

Nature bears poetry within. She manifests her poetry through the mountains and the seas, through the earth and the trees. She can be seen in the dawns and the dusks, in the radiance around the ring of fire eclipse and the stars that shine over the ocean like diamond dust. She can be heard in the rhythm of life and in the seasons. She can be smelled in the fragrance of flowers and the rain on fresh earth. She reminds us of the many treasures she hides, and she persuades us to find them. And in this search, she leads us to the most precious treasures that are to be found within us.

We all have incredible powers hidden inside us, but our self-limiting fears and beliefs that spring from the smoky corridors and murky recesses of our mind hold us back. Nature reminds us to look within and explore the treasures that lie within the inner doors of your heart. For surely the gates to true happiness lie within. Break your self-limiting beliefs, free yourselves from shackles, overcome fears and you will come forth with the strength of wisdom to claim that heaven within.  

–From preface to Quddus Mohammed’s  poetry collection, which is available at



O serene shadow hiding behind the fragility of life

Let us take a stroll in the vibrant autumn foliage

Through the slumbering majestic ancient trees

And the moss covered twisted native vines

Golden-yellow leaves cover the pathways

You told me there is a bench in the woods

Let us sit there for a cup of delicious spiced tea

Smell the scent of the pollen

Listen to the humming of the bees

The sound of falling leaves and fading light

Listen to the hymn of the Angels

Listen to stories of trees that bleed

Stories that filled our distant past

O serene shadow, my companion of solace

Hold my hand as we take a stroll


thesatime | The Southasian times


In my zone of silence

I enter the inner door of my heart

Locked inside the smoky corridors of my mind

Bewildered mind wanders far above the dizzying cloud

All is dark; the sea never sleeps

The rising temperatures strips the arctic fortress deep

Drenches the forehead and feet in sweat

The fish are stuck between the algae covered mesh

As the winds grow loud, body stiffened in flesh

Grain of weed entering the veins like poisoned wine

Lightning rises in the palms as I unchain the shackles of my mind

Inside, there is something smaller that wants to burst out

thesatime | The Southasian times
thesatime | The Southasian times

Quddus Mohammed aims to promote peace and harmony through his passion for food and poetry. Earlier he had published ‘Home Cooking: Recipe Book for Multicultural Gatherings.’ Based in Long  Island, he is a Rotarian (Assistant District Governor 2014-17 and President, Rotary Club of Hicksville South 2013-14) and humanitarian.

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