Amanda Gorman, in a first, brings poetry to Super Bowl

NEW YORK (AP) — Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet who stirred the United States (US) at the inauguration of President Joe Biden last month, again commanded the spotlight on one of the country’s biggest stages, the Super Bowl.

Gorman read an original poem on Sunday during the pre-game festivities in Tampa, Florida. 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.

Gorman did not perform on the field but appeared in a taped video message that combined Gorman’s reading with images of Davis, Dorner and Martin.

Recited Gorman:

“Let us walk with these warriors,

Charge on with these champions,

And carry forth the call of our captains.

We celebrate them by acting,

With courage and compassion,

By doing what is right and just.

For while we honour them today,

It is they who every day honour us.”

That Gorman brought poetry to the Super Bowl was an almost unthinkable collision of grace and glitz. But if the Super Bowl, an annual rite of excess, was an unlikely platform for a poet, it showed just how much Gorman seized the nation’s spotlight since the inauguration.

Gorman, previously the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, was the youngest person to ever recite a poem at the US presidential inauguration. Her reading of The Hill We Climb at the Capitol immediately became a sensation. An illustrated book of her poem quickly zoomed to the top of bestseller lists. Shortly after the inauguration, she signed with IMG Models, an agency that represents supermodels, tennis star Naomi Osaka and playwright Jeremy O Harris. This week, she covers Time Magazine, in an interview conducted by Michelle Obama.

Gorman’s Super Bowl appearance had been planned before the inauguration. She seemed to grasp the unlikeliness of her pre-game reading, the first in Super Bowl history. And with potentially 100 million viewers on the CBS telecast, it made for one very well-attended poetry recital.

“Poetry at the Super Bowl is a feat for art and our country, because it means we are thinking imaginatively about human connection even when we feel siloed,” Gorman said on Sunday on Twitter. “I will honour three heroes who exemplify the best of this effort. Here’s to them, to poetry and to a Super Bowl like no other.”

Amanda Gorman delivers a poem after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States in Washington. PHOTOS: AP
A healthcare worker tosses the coin before the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan perform the national anthem before the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers