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January 2020

W.W. Fenn Speech: In This Place

In This Place (An American Lyric)
Amanda Gorman

—An original poem written for the inaugural reading of Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith at the Library of Congress.

There’s a poem in this place—

in the footfalls in the halls

in the quiet beat of the seats.

It is here, at the curtain of day,

where America writes a lyric

you must whisper to say.

There’s a poem in this place—

in the heavy grace,

the lined face of this noble building,

collections burned and reborn twice.

There’s a poem in Boston’s Copley Square

where protest chants

tear through the air

like sheets of rain,

where love of the many

swallows hatred of the few.

There’s a poem in Charlottesville

where tiki torches string a ring of flame

tight round the wrist of night

where men so white they gleam blue—

seem like statues

where men heap that long wax burning

ever higher

where Heather Heyer

blooms forever in a meadow of resistance.

There’s a poem in Florida, in East Texas

where streets swell into a nexus

of rivers, cows afloat like mottled buoys in the


where courage is now so common

that 23-year-old Jesus Contreras rescues people
    from floodwaters.

There's a lyric in California

where thousands of students march for blocks,

undocumented and unafraid;

where my friend Rosa

finds the power to blossom

in deadlock, her spirit the bedrock of her


She knows hope is like a stubborn

ship gripping a dock,

a truth: that you can’t stop a dreamer

or knock down a dream.

How could this not be her city

su nación

our country

our America,

our American lyric to write—

a poem by the people, the poor,

the Protestant, the Muslim, the Jew,

the native, the immigrant,

the black, the brown, the blind, the brave,

the undocumented and undeterred,

the woman, the man, the nonbinary,

the white, the trans,

the ally to all of the above

and more?

There’s a poem in this place—

a poem in America

a poet in every American

who rewrites this nation, who tells

a story worthy of being told on this minnow of an earth

to breathe hope into a palimpsest of time—

a poet in every American

who sees that our poem penned

doesn’t mean our poem’s end.

There’s a place where this poem dwells—

it is here, it is now, in the yellow song of dawn’s bell

where we write an American lyric

we are just beginning to tell.

    Everyone can make a difference. In this poem Amanda Gorman a Harvard Student tries to use her words to make a difference. I chose this poem because I wanted to do a powerful speech or poem. I thought this would be in a book, but then I found this. It was perfect It had everything. It was powerful and it had things that are relevant to today. Hopefully I can make this poem seem as powerful as it truly is. 

The Power of Music



Music will always make people loud 




“Music can change the world”



By Rory Kennealy




    When everything is quiet music will always make it loud. Last year in the car with my siblings when everybody was quiet music would always make us be loud, and talk to each other. Music will always make people come together. Everyone has that song that makes them want to belt out the lyrics. My siblings always felt this way. One moment we might have been quiet, but the next we could have been belting out lyrics to a song. Every morning last year my sister would drive my brother and I to school. Sometimes we were quiet, but most times we were singing along to the song of our choice. We would always go around I would choose a song, my sister would choose a sing, and then my brother would choose a song. No matter what the song we were always singing. I remember one time in particular though. It was after my siblings dance recital. It was her last one after fifteen years. She told me to put on a song by Usher called Scream. We turned up the music and started to belt out the lyrics. We were driving through the town center and blasting the music, and singing. It didn’t matter this doesn’t happen again, it didn’t matter what the the song was, and it didn’t matter how quiet is was before. All that mattered that we were singing and having fun. Music will always be there to make come together, and talk, and really make you happy.