"Call Us What We Carry"

Oh hello. I think if I were to do a "one word check-in" activity with you, where we go around in a circle and share a word that sums up how we're feeling, what we're bringing to the space, mine would be 


That aside, I realized on Saturday that I had Young Adult Book Club Monday, and I hadn't opened the book that I chose from the two options -- "Call Us What We Carry" by Amanda Gorman. I read it in a day and a half and will reread it and digest it over and over. It was INCREDIBLE. 

She is such a gifted poet, but also quite the historian, and her word play and finesse with language is just amazing. The book is really about the impact of COVID, and grief, and resilience, and connections to other moments in history. It has a whole section that gives voice to the anger and disappointment in America felt by Amanda as a Black woman. It is so freaking powerful. It also has so many passages that for me rang true for my own grief and resilience in my parenthood/CNBC journey. Instead of explaining, here are a couple of my favorites, emphasis mine: 

From "Lucent" (p. 60)

"What would we seem, stripped down
Like a wintered tree.
Glossy scabs, tight-raised skin,
These can look silver in certain moonlights.
In other words,
Our scars are the brightest
Parts of us

*  *  *

The crescent moon, 
The night's lucent lesion
We are felled oaks beneath it,
Branches full of empty.
Look closer.
What we share is more
Than what we've shed

From "Good Grief" (p. 29)

"All that is grave need
Not be a burden, an anguish.
Call it, instead, an anchor,
Grief grounding us in its sea. 
Despair exits us the same way it enters --
Turning through the mouth. 
Even now conviction works
Strange magic on our tongues. 
We are built up again
By what we
What we carry means we survive, 
It is what survives us.
We have survived us.
Where once we were alone, 
Now we are beside ourselves.

Where once we were barbed & brutal as blades,
Now we can only imagine."

From "Pre-Memory" (p. 78)

"Storytelling is the way that unarticulated memory
becomes art, becomes artifact, becomes fact, becomes felt
again, becomes free. Empires have been raised & razed on
much less. There is nothing so agonizing, or so dangerous,
as memory unexpressed, unexplored, unexplained &
unexploded. Grief is the grenade that always goes off.

She's incredible. And only twenty-two years of lived experience! I can't recommend this book enough. 

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy! 


  1. How fabulous! That last section that you put in bold. I feel that strongly. I love it.

  2. Thank you for sharing these poems and the book recommendation. I recall being fully floored by her during the inaugural ceremony. The world would be a better place is more people embodied her spirit and wisdom xx

  3. I like seeing a younger person exploring serious issues. When I was 22 being serious was almost stigmatized. It felt like we were all supposed to be cynical and witty in a shallow way and do a lot of stupid things even if if we really didn't want to.

    Also it's great to see a book of poetry chosen for a book club. Not many people actually think about reading poetry, or even give a thought to its existence. Is the book club for teens or adults?

  4. This sounds amazing. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

    Hoping your week got a little less extended, but I'm not holding my breath (I know what a devoted educator you are).

  5. I follow her on Instagram. She's wonderful! :)