Amanda Gorman garnered many new fans when she read her poem "The Hill We Climb" at the presidential inauguration Wednesday — one of the biggest being Anderson Cooper.
The CNN anchor, in an interview later that day, was full of praise for the 22-year-old poet, at times appearing tongue-tied in response to her.
"Whenever I perform — and I definitely did it this time — I close my eyes and I say ‘I'm the daughter of Black writers,'" Gorman said in the interview. "We're descended from freedom fighters who broke their chains and changed the world. They call me."
"Wow ... you are awesome. I am so transfixed,” Cooper said.
The gay commentator also read passages of Gorman's poem, the recitation of which sparked some praise from the poet. His reading included the final line: "The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it."
"I got visions when you said that," Cooper said. "That is what it takes, isn’t it? It takes bravery to see it and to be that light."
"Hope isn’t something that we ask of others. It’s something that we have to demand from ourselves," Gorman replied.
"It’s thrilling to see such a bright talent burst like a supernova," he said.
Gorman was a breakout star of the inauguration ceremony where Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as president and vice president, respectively. Her poem was praised for how it addressed America's pain but also hope for healing in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.
Watch Cooper and Gorman discuss poetry below. And don't miss her inaugural reading.