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At 22, Amanda Gorman the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history

American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem after Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Pool Photo by Patrick Semansky/UPI
American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem after Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Pool Photo by Patrick Semansky/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old from Los Angeles, became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history Wednesday.

Gorman recited her poem "The Hill We Climb" to mark the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday afternoon, carrying on the theme of unity at the center of the inauguration.

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"And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We've closed the divide because we know to put our future first we must first put our differences aside," she read.

The poem also referenced the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol building by supporters of President Donald Trump who sought to interrupt Congress as they certified Biden's election win.

"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," she read. "But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated."

After delivering her poem, Gorman wrote on Twitter that she wore a ring featuring a caged bird gifted to her by Oprah Winfrey "to symbolize Maya Angelou, a previous inaugural poet."

"Here's to the women who have climbed my hills before," she wrote.

Winfrey on Twitter said that she was cheering Gorman on, as the late Angelou would be.

"I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise!" Winfrey wrote.

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