DESCRIPTION OR POEM —
People on Earth.
Maya Angelou’s breathtaking poem “A Brave and Startling Truth” begins with this description of humanity on planet Earth:
We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth…
Another beloved American writer, Annie Dillard, described our collective home as a mangrove island, in her book, “Teaching a Stone to Talk”:
The planet is less like an enclosed spaceship—spaceship earth—than it is like an exposed mangrove island beautiful and loose. We the people started small and have since accumulated a great and solacing muck of soil, of human culture. We are rooted in it; we are bearing it with us across nowhere. The word “nowhere” is our cue: the consort of musicians strikes up, and we in the chorus stir and move and start twirling our hats. A mangrove island turns drift to dance. It creates its own soil as it goes, rocking over the salt sea at random, rocking day and night and round the sun, rocking round the sun and out toward east of Hercules.
For this prompt, draw on Angelou and Dillard for inspiration, and write a poem or description about humanity and Mother Earth. For inspiration, check out "We Were All Plants in Our Past Lives"
by Peer Ambassador Huda Ayaz!
[Read Angelou’s full poem here.]