Read the Most Powerful Lines From Amanda Gorman’s Super Bowl Poem

She made history (again) as the first-ever poet to perform at the Super Bowl.

Amanda Gorman made history in January as the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration in the U.S.—and people couldn’t stop talking about her. Last night, with America tuning in yet again, the 22-year-old Youth Poet Laureate made history again as the first-ever poet to perform at the Super Bowl. While her inaugural poem focused on unity and hope for the nation, Sunday night’s poem zeroed in on three individuals—educator Trimaine Davis, ICU nurse manager Suzie Dorner, and veteran James Martin—who were named Honorary Captains of the game for their leadership during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We honor our three captains for their actions and impact in a time of uncertainty and need,” she said in a pre-recorded video. “They’ve taken the lead, exceeding all expectations and limitations, uplifting their communities and neighbors as leaders, healers and educators.”

She then dedicated lines to each of the three honorary captains. “James has felt the wounds of warfare, but this warrior still shares his home with at-risk kids,” she said. “During COVID, he’s even lent a hand, live-streaming football for family and fans.” Martin, who served as a United States Marine for 15 years, had to learn to walk again after an explosion left him paralyzed from the chest down, and he’s used his experience to help other veterans in similar situations.

“Trimaine is an educator who works nonstop,” Gorman continued, “providing his community with hotspots, laptops, and tech workshops, so his students have all the tools they need to succeed in life and in school.” Davis, who was orphaned as a child, now works to help students from underserved communities who are facing hardships as he did.

Gorman then spoke about Dorman, the third and final honorary captain, highlighting how her contributions reflect those of many other frontline heroes. “Suzie is the ICU nurse manager at a Tampa hospital,” she said. “Her chronicles prove that even in tragedy, hope is possible. She lost her grandmothers to the pandemic, and fights to save other lives in the ICU battle zone, defining the frontline heroes risking their lives for our own.”

Gorman ended the poem by urging listeners to look to the captains as positive examples of how to help others. “Let us walk with these warriors, charge on with these champions, and carry forth the call of our captains,” she said. “We celebrate them by acting with courage and compassion, by doing what is right and just. For while we honor them today, it is they who every day honor us.”

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