The Miracle of Morning

Amanda Gorman

‘The Miracle of Morning’ by Amanda Gorman is a direct message of hope in the face of suffering. Specifically, Gorman uses this poem to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and its outcome. 

Amanda Gorman

Nationality: America

Amanda Gorman is known around the world for her highly relevant contemporary verse.

Notable works include 'Chorus of the Captainsand 'The Hill We Climb.'

Key Poem Information

Central Message: Happiness and light will follow the suffering COVID-19 caused

Themes: Wellness

Speaker: Likely Amanda Gorman

Emotions Evoked: Hope

Poetic Form: Quatrain

Time Period: 21st Century

Gorman's highly relevant, contemporary poem is a determined message of hope for anyone suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic

Gorman is well-known for her socially engaged verse that deals with topics many readers are going to relate to easily. ‘The Miracle of Morning’ is no different. It skillfully alludes to the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that anyone who experienced it is going to have a hard time ignoring. The poet mentions key pandemic-era terms and experiences, including social distancing, healthcare heroes, and the feelings of depression that many people endured. 

The Miracle of Morning by Amanda Gorman


‘The Miracle of Morning’ by Amanda Gorman is an uplifting poem about the future of humanity after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The poet begins by describing her speaker waking up on a bright and warm morning and feeling surprised that the previous days of depression and darkness seem to have ended. She notes people on the street going about their normal lives and feels inspired to consider how good the future is going to be once humanity moves beyond the pandemic.

Throughout the poem, she suggests that negative experiences only make people kinder and more appreciative of what they have. The poem ends on another optimistic note, with Gorman inspiring readers to make the most of their lives and become the “best of beings.” 

Structure and Form 

‘The Miracle of Morning’ by Amanda Gorman is a nine-stanza poem that uses quatrains, a couplet, a tercet, and a sestet. The poem is mostly made out of quatrains, or four-line stanzas. But, stanza four is a couplet (meaning it has two lines), stanza eight is a tercet with three lines, and stanza nine is a sestet (meaning it has six lines). 

The poem uses a couple of different rhyme schemes. For example, in the first stanza, the poet uses a pattern of AAAA (known as mono rhyme), while in the second stanza, she transitions into a pattern of AABB. The third stanza is different once again, rhyming ABAB. 

Literary Devices 

Amanda Gorman is well-known for her use of effective literary devices. Here are a few she used in this poem:

  • Juxtaposition: can be seen when the poet intentionally contrasts two different images. For example, the poet compares the morning she expected to have with that which she actually experiences in stanza one.
  • Allusion: a reference to something that’s not directly described or explained in a poem. Readers will need to have some prior understanding of the subject in order to fully analyze the allusion. In this case, the poet alludes to the many months of suffering that the world endured during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Alliteration: the repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of multiple words. For example, “wide and warming” in stanza one and “we will weather” in stanza three.
  • Parallelism: the use of similar line structures in the same section of text. For example, the poet uses parallelism in these lines from stanza six: “In this chaos, we will discover clarity. / In suffering, we must find solidarity.”

Detailed Analysis 

Stanza One 

I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.
Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.
But there’s something different on this golden morning.
Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.

In the first stanza of this contemporary poem, the poet begins with a very direct message of hope. These lines stand out because the speaker immediately notes that they expected something very different. She creates a clear example of juxtaposition between the image of the expected “world in mourning” and the “golden morning” that she actually woke up to. She’s thrilled by what she sees on this particularly special morning especially considering how low her expectations were. 

The first stanza is quite effective in the poet’s use of sound as well. She repeats the same end sound in every line, rhyming “mourning,” “storming,” “morning,” and “warming.” These words create a smooth, easy rhythm to the poem that contrasts with the unexpected realization that the world is filled with “sunlight, wide and warming” instead of a “society storming.” 

To make her rhythm even more pronounced, the poet also chose to fill this stanza with alliteration. She repeats consonant sounds multiple times. For example, “clouds crowding” and “society storming.” 

Stanza Two 

I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.
She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.

Rather than sticking to natural images of light and warmth, the poet moves on to write about specific scenes she witnessed that represent the hopeful feeling she has. The poet zooms in on a “dad” on a run with his child in a stroller, a girl chasing a dog, and an older woman holding her rosary. 

Each of these images is very simple and easy to imagine. She did not overcomplicate the scenes in this new hopeful world, ensuring that most readers would feel the same kind of hope that she felt. The poet also made sure to mention that the girl was “bright-eyed” and the grandmother was grinning. Each of these elements brightens the scene further. 

Stanza Three

While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,
But how we will weather this unknown together.

The third stanza continues the hopeful message Gorman began in the first stanza and addresses the reader. The poet mentions “we” and “Our people.” She’s speaking to anyone reading and to all those (which, in this case, is the entire world) who were touched by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All people from all walks of life were impacted by COVID-19, and therefore, all readers should feel a sense of unity and happiness when considering the way that the world has come together in an effort to defeat the pandemic. This is represented in the poem through the poet’s line, “Our people have never been more closely tethered.” The word “tethered” implies that everyone is tied together and unified by the fear, loss, and hard work that marked this period.

The stanza ends with examples of repetition that are meant to drive home the point that by working “together,” humanity will be able to endure anything. 

This poem was written in the early days of the pandemic, and the fact that Gorman, at the time, wouldn’t have known whether the pandemic would ever be even remotely under control is easy to sense in these lines. She believed that we would come through the pandemic together and be better for it, but she isn’t sure.

Stanza Four 

So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.

Readers will notice right away that stanza four stands out when compared to the previous three stanzas. It has two lines, while the others have four. The poet uses a great deal of alliteration in this stanza as well, something that also sets it apart from the previous lines. She writes that the morning is “meaningful” and that on this special morning, “we mourn and we mend.”

She continues her message of hope, suggesting that experiencing beautiful mornings such as that she woke up to is one of the ways that “Our people” can “mend” what is bent (she distinctly avoids saying that anyone or anything is “broken”). 

The poet also uses a simile in these lines to compare all of humanity to “light.” It only bends and never breaks. This is a significant example of figurative language in that it continues the feeling of hope from the first lines of the poem as well as the image of light/warmth. 

Stanza Five 

As one, we will defeat both despair and disease.
Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.

The poet makes sure that the following lines also include a reference to the new, unified world that she sees humanity experience post-COVID-19. This idealized image of what the world can accomplish and become is described in detail. 

She mentions “healthcare heroes” who put their lives on the line to help the sick and all essential employees, as well as those things and people not deemed “essential” during the pandemic, like libraries and artists. Everyone has a role to play, and everyone will be part of the effort to “defeat both despair and disease.” Here, she was likely alluding to the fact that without everyone engaging in sufficient protective measures (like wearing a face mask), it would be impossible to defeat the virus. 

She also notes that some places, like “Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals,” were “hit hardest.” This is an easy-to-interpret allusion to the suffering employees endured, the overtime, and the financial hardship that many people suffered. 

Stanza Six 

We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,
For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.
In this chaos, we will discover clarity.
In suffering, we must find solidarity.

The poet suggests in the sixth stanza that the intense suffering, or loss, that people experienced during the pandemic led to more love. She feels, or at least expressed in this poem that it is through “loss that we truly learn to love.” It’s only when life changes dramatically and negatively that people come together. In these lines, she’s thinking about schools and businesses closing, graduations and other important events being canceled, and thousands of lives being lost.

She also adds in this stanza that it is “chaos” that fuels “clarity.” When the world falls apart as it did during the COVID-19 pandemic, one is better able to see what’s important. Things that seem important to individuals or groups fall to the wayside, and the things that really matter, like family, friends, and the well-being of the world’s people, come to the forefront. 

She uses an example of parallelism in the lines, mimicking the structure of line two in lines three and four. She uses similar structures in all three lines to indicate how one thing, like loss, chaos, or suffering, leads to love, clarity, or solidarity. By repeating lines in this way, the poet is ensuring that readers find this section of text all the more meaningful. 

Stanza Seven 

For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.

The seventh stanza is the final quatrain of the poem. It’s followed by stanzas eight and nine which are a tercet and a sestet. The poet writes in this stanza that grief leads to gratitude and then to hope. When one knows how bad life can get, she’s saying, then they truly appreciate it when things are going right. 

The poet writes a powerful and direct statement in the final two lines of this stanza. She directs her words to the reader and says, with confidence and determination, that we need to ensure that this “ache wasn’t endured in vain” and that we should “Give it purpose.” All people, no matter how they were touched by COVID-19, should not forget what they suffered. 

They should use this suffering to improve the future and generally make the world a better place. The short words in the final line of the stanza were crafted as strong, definitive statements that are not up for interpretation. The poet is determined that people have to “Use” their grief. That’s the only choice after the world has endured so much suffering. 

Stanza Eight 

Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.
From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.

The eighth stanza of this inspiring contemporary poem is three lines long and lists out a few of the things that the poet suggests that people do to celebrate their lives and the lives of others. One should “Read children’s books,” she writes, and “dance alone to DJ music.” No one should be ashamed to indulge in the simple pleasures that make them happy or waste time on things that don’t bring them joy. The grief one experienced over previous years should be a driving factor in the years to come. 

The poet also hopes to impart the message that the “distance” that people are enduring (as she wrote this poem in the early days of the pandemic) has to be endured until the end. When it’s over, everyone will be back together again, and the world will emerge stronger. This is a very optimistic image of what the future holds and is the driving force that’s at the heart of the poem. 

Stanza Nine 

We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
In testing times, we became the best of beings.

The poet summarizes the poem’s many inspirational and optimistic messages in the final stanza. She reminds readers that suffering and burdens foster brave and kind human beings that make the world a better place. By cleverly phrasing lines one and two, she’s able to repeat the words “human” and “kind” in two different ways, emphasizing the kindness of humankind.

She hopes that in the future, every morning will be like the one she’s experiencing now—filled with light, kindness, and happiness. 

She writes, “When this ends,” referring to the pandemic, that all people will be better for it. Everyone will come back together and become the “best of beings.” The poet leaves the reader on this optimistic note that’s made all the more impactful through the poet’s use of alliteration (“became the best of beings”). 


What is the poem ‘The Miracle of Morning’ about?

The poem ‘The Miracle of Morning’ is about having hope in the darkest of moments. Specifically, it’s about the COVID-19 pandemic and the hope the poet had for the future of humanity. She believed as the poem conveys, that humanity would come out the other side as better people. 

What does Amanda Gorman talk about in her poems?

Amanda Gorman is well-known for discussing social issues, marginalized groups, and the future of the United States in her poetry. She’s best known for her inspiring lines that reference the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the 2020 presidential election in the US. 

What life lesson can we learn from Amanda Gorman?

Amanda Gorman’s poems suggest a few different life lessons. Some of these are that all people are deserving of good lives, humankind is essentially good, and the future can be better than the past if we work for it. 

What is the tone of the poemThe Miracle of Morning?’

The tone is optimistic and determined. The speaker is very sure that her vision of the future is the right one. She sees the entire world growing in kindness and in its unity when people make it through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What is the symbolism of ‘The Miracle of Morning?’ 

There are a few different symbols at work in this poem. Gorman uses the morning as a symbol of the future and the good things that are in store for humankind when “we” make it through the COVID-19 pandemic. She also uses “light” as a symbol of humankind. She created a simile to suggest that, like light, humanity only bends and never breaks. 

Similar Poetry 

Readers who enjoyed this poem should also consider reading some other Amanda Gorman poems. For example: 

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Emma Baldwin Poetry Expert
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues through analyzing poetry on Poem Analysis.
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