Hope for the new year in Amanda Gorman’s “New Year’s Day Lyric”

The most recent poem by the young poet inspires and sets the tone for the new year

Antonio Conover, Arts & Culture Writer

World renowned poet Amanda Gorman never fails to amaze. With her brilliant poems, including her breath-taking reading of “The Hill We Climb,” Gorman yet again produces a beautiful and insightful poem titled “New Year’s Day Lyric.”

With her first line, “May this be the day,” she instantly captures the emotion of coming together. Referring to the new year, Gorman hopes that there is a chance for change in this new beginning. In her following lines, her usage of alliteration is ever present, reinforcing her hope in unity through written word. Her craftsmanship to capture unity through words demonstrates an insightful outlook on the coming new year and a wish she hopes can be fulfilled.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Gorman states that she “Wanted to write a lyric to honor the hardships, hurt, hope and healing of 2021 while also harkening the potential of 2022.” In collaboration with Instagram, Gorman’s poem instantly took off in a matter of minutes. Released on its public page Instagram released her poem with the caption, “It’s time to welcome 2022 with Amanda Gorman’s (@amandascgorman) energy and her new, never-before-read poem.” Gorman humbly asks for a donation consideration for those who have been affected by the on-going pandemic for the International Rescue Committee.

With a year of hardship and darkness, Gorman’s poem still manages to shine a light on the love and support we have to offer regardless of the current time, and that collectively, we must continue to move on together. With the somewhat unconventional structure of this poem, it really encapsulates the unknown and quirks we see not only in the past, but the present as well. In her five-stanza poem, it is divided into uneven sets of lines.

The first stanza contains thirteen lines, the second has six, the third ten, the fourth four and the fifth sixteen. The purpose of this structure is so it reads similar to song-like verses that one would typically see when looking at song lyrics. Hence, it has the perfect name, “New Year’s Day Lyric.”

The subtle rhymes she includes without a deliberate rhyme scheme in her poem further adds emphasis on unity and cohesion, as we can find similarities in even the most unusual places and circumstances. In her final stanza, she repeats the lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne” which is the traditional send off for the past year, bringing in the start of the new. One of Gorman’s main themes throughout her work is change and hope, and her delivery of “New Year’s Day Lyric,” allows for a unified and enlightening vision for 2022.

You can find a copy of the entire poem here.