Today, 29% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to safe drinking water. Seven million people die premature deaths due to air pollution. Each year, 100 million people are forced into extreme poverty due to healthcare costs. Meanwhile, the world’s richest 1% have more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people. These inequalities have led to the emergence of many social movements in recent years, as people around the globe strive for change and a better world.
Dreaming of change is not new.
In his introduction to the English translation of Gitanjali
, a collection of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s poems published in 1910, W.B. Yeats writes that in it, he “found a world I have dreamed of all my life long.” In the poem “Where The Mind Is Without Fear,” Tagore describes a “heaven of freedom”, which he asks God to awaken his countrymen to. Written during India’s freedom movement, it became very popular, especially among those fighting for India’s independence.
Read Tagore’s poem below, and then craft your own dream for change, using anaphora (beginning each line with the same word or words). While writing, ask yourself: who will you address your poem to? What kind of society do you want humans to strive to create?
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
This prompt was created by Community Ambassador Wicked!.