Poetry Day 2022: Four poems on climate change you should read

Poetry Day 2022, which falls on October 6 this year, will be marked with the theme Environment.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, October 06, 2022, 03:51 PM IST
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Poetry Day is a British campaign to promote poetry which was first celebrated in 1994. It usually takes place on the first Thursday in October in the United Kingdom.

Founded by William Sieghart, the festivities on the occasion involves hosting live events, classroom activites and broadcasts. Coordinated by the charity Forward Arts Foundation and run in collaboration with The Poetry Book Society and others, poetry day usually follows a theme every year.

Poetry Day 2022, which falls on October 6 this year, will be marked with the theme Environment. On this occassion, here are some of the poems about climate change you should read.

Water Devil by Jamaal May (2016)

Climate change and global heating has had devastating effects on the world. The 2016 poem by Jamaal May speaks about a hurricane and loss caused by the same. Here's a snippet:

a hurricane looting

a Miami shopping mall.

How careful you are

with the rain-cradling

curve of your back.

The Greenhouse Effect by Carl Dennis (1985)

It is spine-chilling to think that a poet in 1985 could accurately write about the future and explain how the world is going to be impacted by climate change. Dennis in his poem titled The Greenhouse Effect talks about poverty will grip people due to climate change.

The Plains States will be abandoned as giant dust bowls.

Greenland and Antarctica will join the new Great Powers.

Even if we play them off against each other

For more aid, we'll still be poorer than we are now.

He also writes:

The tax base will be too small to support the public buildings.

We'll have to donate hours after work each week

To rake the lawn of the Library and City Hall,

To tuckpoint the chimney of the Federal Building

How to Let Go of the World by Franny Choi (2019)

American poet, playwright Franny Choi's poem captures the essence of what it's like to live through disasters caused by climate change; the cascading effect of these things people have in their lives.

In her poem How to Let Go of the World she captures hopelessness, despair and worry that comes along with disasters.

When the Pyrex burst all over the stove, we stood still for a minute to let ourselves be rocked by the sound, the sudden natural disaster of our ruined dinner.

To be safe, we turned to the ceiling and asked any spirits present to tuck themselves back into the drywall.

Then went for bags and brooms, picked out the shards, the ghost-knives hiding in the tiles for our heels.

Particulate Matter by Molly Fisk (2018)

Fisk, an American poet and radio commentator, wrote this poem which speaks about apocalypse and death. In her poem she explores global heating and its repercussions.

Here are some of the chilling lines:

If all you counted were tires on the cars left in driveways and stranded beside the roads.

Melted dashboards and tail lights, oil pans, window glass, seat belt clasps.

The propane tanks in everyone's yards, though we didn't hear them explode.

R-13 insulation. Paint, inside and out. The liquor store's plastic letters in puddled

colors below their charred sign. Each man-made sole of every shoe in all those closets.

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