Amanda Gorman has released a poem for New Year’s Day, in partnership with Instagram and in support of the International Rescue Committee, a global aid organization founded by Albert Einstein.

Entitled, “New Day’s Lyric”, the 48-line poem evokes the struggles of the year 2021 as well as hopeful notes for the future, alluding to topics ranging from COVID-19 to politics to national unity.

“Tethered by this year of yearning,
We are learning
That though we weren’t ready for this,
We have been readied by it.”

Gorman announced the release of the new work on Wednesday afternoon, and it was posted in full on the official brand account of Instagram alongside a video reading from the young poet herself.

Within 24 hours, the video reached over 3 million views, and topped four million as of Friday morning.

The same day as the release, Gorman also shared the accompanying IRC fundraiser, which as of Friday morning has raised more than $11,000 for COVID-19 relief and humanitarian aid.

“I wrote New Day’s Lyric to both celebrate the new year and honor both the hurt and the humanity of the last one,” Gorman said in the fundraiser post.

“I’m always shy to quote my own poems, but I believe it in my bones when I say: Come, look up with kindness yet, for wherever we come together, we will forever overcome.”

The poem caps off a monumental year for the former National Youth Poet Laureate, who exploded onto the scene in January when she performed her “The Hill We Climb” poem for the inauguration of Joe Biden—where they were joined by a number of other prominent Catholics, including Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

Gorman has since gone on to perform at the Super Bowl, cover Time Magazine and Vogue, co-host the Met Gala, and release three books—each of which topped the New York Times Bestseller list.

She was also named to the Glamour Women of the Year list in early November.

Now, as another challenging year comes to a close, Gorman’s words provide similar encouragement as they did at its beginning.

“Come over, join this day just begun.
For wherever we come together,
We will forever overcome.”

Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, a seminarian with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).


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