Amanda Gorman, a 22 year old African American poet, will read her work at President-Elect Joseph Biden’s and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ historic inauguration in Washington, D.C.  In this moment in history, when the nation is divided and when some have attacked the government and the democratic process, it is telling that poets and poetry emerge to remind us of our humanity.  As Audre Lorde continues to remind us, “poetry is not a luxury.”  It gives us hope.  Listen or read  Amanda Gorman’s  “In This Place (An American Lyric).”  We look forward to her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

Professor Arthur Lewin has written “Godspeed,” and in response, one BLS alum wrote:  “It felt like a metaphor for the journey of life.  It also made me think of this country and the moment we’re in with all this turmoil going on.  We the citizens are the crew and America is the ship.  We’re holing onto the ropes trying to steer us in the right direction–to some paradise or utopia that may never exist.  Everyone’s breath is held to see if this country will weather the storm.”

Here is Professor Lewin’s poem.  With hope, we will survive the tempest:

The good ship Hope 
Emerged from the doldrums 
Of the South Pacific, making for Tahiti
Only to face ferocious, roiling seas. 
The tempest raged on and on for days. 
The food ran short. Scurvy plagued the men. 
And they lost all their precious instruments.  
All the while, the nightly rains prevented them  
Getting any of their bearings from the stars.
There was even a brief mutiny of sorts 
As they desperately plotted their course. 
If they chose correctly, within a day at most 
They should be within sight of their Paradise. 
If not, they were sure to face a horrible fate. 
All of the crew 
Even those fumbling on the ropes 
In the steady, drenching downpours 
Every one of them, sort of held their breath 
Waiting to see the hand that they’d been dealt.