Earth Stanzas

An interactive online poetry project in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

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How-to

Model Poems

We’ve compiled eight different model poems and writing prompts. Read an excerpt of each model poem below, then respond using the “Share Your Voice” button.

About

The first Earth Day was organized 50 years ago on April 22, 1970, giving birth to the modern environmental movement and engaging more than 190 countries and a billion people worldwide in environmental advocacy. On the occasion of this important anniversary, we have launched Earth Stanzas, eight poems that engage the beauty, depth, and interconnectedness of the Earth and invite readers to respond with their own poetic voice. We also invite readers to use the Wick Poetry Center’s Emerge™ application to create digital erasure poetry from a pool of unusual primary source texts related to the environmental issues. This project was launched by the Wick Poetry Center, in Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary.

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Community Poem

Contribute to the Earth Stanzas community poem by following the steps below.

Community

View the Community
Responses

Click the link below to see your and others’ contribution to Earth Stanzas.

Erasure Poetry

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Create an Earth Stanzas
Emerge Poem

Delight-Song

The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee

by N. Scott Momaday

I am an eagle playing with the wind
I am a cluster of bright beads
I am the farthest star
I am the cold of dawn
I am the roaring of the rain
I am the glitter on the crust of the snow
I am the long track of the moon in a lake

I am a flame of four colors
I am a deer standing away in the dusk
I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche
I am an angle of geese in the winter sky
I am the hunger of a young wolf

Read the full poem.

Contribute using the “I am...” prompt.

Remember

Remember

by Joy Harjo

Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.

Read the full poem.

Contribute using the “Remember...” prompt.

EarthsDesire

Earth’s Desire

by Thomas Berry

To be seen
in her loveliness
to be tasted
in her delicious
fruits
to be listened to
in her teaching
to be endured
in the severity
of her discipline
to be experienced
as the maternal
source
whence we come
the destiny
to which we
return

Read the full poem.

Contribute using the “Earth’s desire is...” prompt.

Marcellus

Poem for Marcellus

by Sandra Steingraber

V.
Holy the rock
and the fissure,
the salt and the diatom’s fall.

Holy the unfractured.
Holy the wall
between you
and us, Marcellus.
Holy the cave.
Holy the soluble.
Holy the hall.
Holy the unmapped
and abandoned
well.
Hell.
I know you’re down there.
Mom always said,
don’t blow up the basement.
Hades. Moloch. Charon’s boat.
Hades. Moloch. Ransom note.
Let me love you
from a long way up.
Holy the water.
Holy the cup.

Read the full poem.

Contribute using the “Something sacred...” prompt.

MadFarmer

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Read the full poem.

Contribute using the “Manifesto...” prompt.

StartlingTruth

A Brave and Startling Truth

by Maya Angelou

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear
 
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

Read the full poem.

Contribute using the “We, this people...” prompt.

ThankyouTreeImage

Thank You, Tree

by Fatou M’Baye, 11-years-old

Tree, you put the spark
back in my body.
And when I take a breath,
the lights behind my eyes
are turned on, and the fire
in my furnace crackles.
The whole world stops buzzing.

Read the full poem.

Contribute using the “Thank you...” prompt.

Ladder

Ladder to the Stars

by Ella Hassler, 11-years-old

I have been thinking
about living like a tree,
my arms adorned
with green glass drops.

I have been thinking
about living like a river,
never ending, never stopping,
always rushing, my waters
a looking glass.

I have been thinking
about living like a circle,
a round, perfect circle
like the earth.

Read the full poem.

Contribute using the “I have been thinking about living like...” prompt.

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Traveling Stanzas community arts projects bring poetry to people’s everyday lives through innovative methods and digital platforms.

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