Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
“It’s said that ignorance is bliss.
Ignorance is this: a vine that
sneaks up a tree, killing not by
poison, but by blocking out its
Call Us What We Carry is the sophomore poetry collection from Amanda Gorman, the 2017 National Youth Poet Laureate, as well as the youngest Inaugural Poet in history as she performed her famous “The Hill We Climb” at the Inauguration for President Joe Biden in January 2021 at 22 years old.
With a multitude of poems tackling a variety of topics, Gorman showcases her bold voice and crisp style in her finest collection to date. From coping with grief and isolation during the onset of the COVID pandemic to reconciling the shock and violence of the January 6th insurrection, Gorman perfectly captures the depth and nuance of emotions that many of us have experienced during the past few tumultuous years. With vivid imagery and powerful diction, Gorman manages to tug on any reader’s heartstrings, inviting them to feel, to process, and to reflect.
Even for those who do not fancy themselves poetry enthusiasts will find a way to resonate with the raw honesty and empathy embedded in Gorman’s words. The concepts she illustrates are profound, but they are also universal. Our shared hurt, our shared loss, our shared love. In an age where people are still reeling from the loneliness of quarantine, Gorman’s collection extends to its readers like branches arching towards the sky and like open arms, pulling you in.
Call Us What We Carry will teach you the true meaning behind the phrase “language is power,” as Gorman’s voice shows you just how powerful language can be.
As Gorman says:
“Words matter, for language is an ark. Yes, language is an art… language is a life craft. Yes, language is a life raft.”