By Lori Perkins
All my New Year’s Eve plans were canceled due to the Omicron viral surge. For the second year in a row, I said to my son, “it’s just you and me, kid.” So it’s hard to muster enthusiasm for the beginning of another year as we more or less look ahead to a winter in captivity.
But then I catch up on my daily online news reading and learn that the poet Amanda Gorman, the beautifully positive voice of a younger generation, has released a New Year poem, and I cautiously read it, because how can she possibly see promise in where we are?
But she does, and she lifts my soul.
On Wednesday she released a deceptively simple five-stanza poem titled “New Day’s Lyric” which features her familiar poetic cadence of ebb and flow of struggle and healing.
Below are the opening lines as published in the Huffington Post.
You can watch Gorman reciting the entire poem on her Instagram account here, https://www.instagram.com/p/CYEpCgxBTAf/
What was cursed, we will cure.
What was plagued, we will prove pure.
Where we tend to argue, we will try to agree,
Those fortunes we forswore, now the future we foresee,
Where we weren’t aware, we’re now awake;
Those moments we missed
Are now these moments we make,
The moments we meet,
And our hearts, once all together beaten,
Now all together beat.”
According to an interview with the Associated Press, Gorman said that what inspired “New Day’s Lyric,” was that she “wanted to write a lyric to honor the hardships, hurt, hope and healing of 2021 while also harkening the potential of 2022.”
“This is such a unique New Year’s Day, because even as we toast our glasses to the future, we still have our heads bowed for what has been lost,” she wrote. “I think one of the most important things the new year reminds us is of that old adage: This too shall pass. You can’t relive the same day twice — meaning every dawn is a new one, and every year an opportunity to step into the light.”