Amanda Gorman used poetry to overcome her speech impediment

·2 min read
Amanda Gorman
American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration of President Joe Biden. Patrick Semansky/Pool/AFP
  • Poetry helped Amanda Gorman overcome her speech impediment, she told CBS This Morning.

  • The inaugural poet said she used to erase "r" words from her poems to avoid having to say them aloud.

  • But practice ultimately prepared her for the monumental task of reciting an inaugural poem.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amanda Gorman has a superpower, and it's her voice.

While many discovered the 23-year-old's talent when she recited a poem at President Joe Biden's inauguration, Gorman has been strengthening her superpower for years.

Gorman grew up with a speech impediment that makes "r" words challenging to say. In an interview with CBS This Morning, Gorman opened up about the role poetry played in overcoming her speech impediment.

"It gave me the practice and the strength to the point that I could do something like an inaugural poem," she told CBS This Morning.

Gorman said she used to erase 'r' words from her poetry

In the interview, Gorman said she used to think her struggle with "r" words her "greatest weakness."

"At first, what that meant in my poetry was that I would actually erase 'r' words from my text, so I wouldn't have to say them aloud," she told CBS This Morning.

This isn't the first time Gorman opened up about her speech impediment. In an interview before Biden's inauguration, Gorman told The New York Times that speaking in front of millions terrified her.

"For me, that takes a lot of energy and work," Gorman told The New York Times of practicing her reading. "The writing process is its own excruciating form, but as someone with a speech impediment, speaking in front of millions of people presents its own type of terror."

Ultimately, reciting poetry provided her with her greatest strength - her voice

amanda gorman
Amanda Gorman attends the Black Girls Rock! 2018 Red Carpet. Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for BET

Gorman told CBS This Morning that poetry served as a form of speech pathology, and through lots of practice, she overcame her speech impediment.

She said she recited poetry, spoken word, and rap to help her learn how to say "r" words.

"I don't consider having a speech impediment necessarily as a disability but actually as a strength," she told CBS This Morning. "It gave me my greatest superpower, which is my voice."

Read the original article on Insider