Call Us What We Carry, by Amanda Gorman

12. April 2022

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


»I am the daughter of Black writers. I am descended from freedom fighters who broke their chains and changed the world. They call me. I carry them always.«
(From “Gratitude”)

I’m not sure what to say or write about this collection of Amanda Gorman’s poetry. Any words I could find would still fall short to describe how amazing and emotionally moving, intellectually brilliant, witty and intelligent this is.

This book, like a ship, is meant to be lived in.” Gorman writes and there’s so much life in “Call Us What We Carry“!

When I started reading this collection, I thought it would be a quick read but after stumbling onto this “ship” with this misconception, from early on I found myself reading this carefully, slowly, maybe even reverently. Most often not more than one poem at a time.

I long thought poetry had ceased being relevant since Shakespeare’s sonnets but Gorman made me change my mind.

The only poems I didn’t love as much as the others were the “erasure poems” (with the very notable exception of “DC PUTSCH” which was amazing!). In those poems, Gorman creates poems out of documents from which she “erased” pieces to create something new.
While the idea of that is something that appeals to me, the results didn’t quite hit the spot as much as most of the other poems.

Some poems include sections of prose, explanations, historical context and similar. Those brief “excursions” deepen the experience.

Inspired by Rihanna and Rilke, Shakespeare and the “Ghostbusters” theme song, Homer and Terence and lots of others (cf. “Notes”) this is probably one of those books I’ll never forget.

All in all, this was a wonderful experience and I’m most certainly going to buy any further works of Amanda Gorman.

My favourite poems in this collection:

– “CALL US”
– “WHAT WE CARRY”
– “LIGHTHOUSE”
– “THE MIRACLE OF MORNING”
– “THE HILL WE CLIMB”
– “MONOMYTH”
– “ESSEX II”
– “_ _ _ _ _ [GATED]”


Five out of five stars.



Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam




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