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Matricide: Addressing Climate Change

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Lesson: Poets in Revolt!

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Writing

Matricide: Addressing Climate Change

By Maggie Munday Odom

From the forthcoming anthology, Poets in Revolt!, this poem personifies Earth as a mother coping with the brutalities of climate change.

Level

Grade 10

Type

Poetry

i cry more than i used to

        but sometimes i can’t cry at all.

i sweat myself to sleep

under foggy blankets of

fear for our future.

my kindness is no longer soft

        but hurricanes.

a mother’s pain is

the product of her

sons and daughters;

        a hundred mistakes and a

                million years of looks

                        away.

my rivers run with the sins of you,

my children.

so deaf

to my voice

over the sound of your own

greedy

complaints,

        death wishes.

so young,

you treat me like

nothing

but the ground

        beneath you

yet i am

life

        itself.

a mother’s despair

is veins

choked up with nothing

but plastics,

        acid tears, and

                hopelessness.

how can i teach you to see past

your own palms,

shielding your eyes

        from the mess of a

mother you have made me?

About the Author

Maggie Munday Odom is a 16-year-old poet and playwright whose work has appeared in and/or been recognized by the Oahu Fringe Festival, the Hawaii Women’s Voices Festival, the Playbuilders Playfestival, and the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She has performed spoken word poetry in the 2019 Honolulu Biennial and is the 2019 Hawaii State Poetry Out Loud Champion. She believes in using the power of conversation and communication to make the world a better place and applies this belief to both her art and her activism.

From this lesson

Grades 6–10
Poetry, Visual, Performing, and Media Arts

Poets in Revolt!

by Ola Faleti, 826CHI, with an Introduction by Amanda Gorman, Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the US

Lesson Summary

The pen is mightier than the sword. In this lesson, students learn there's no better evidence of this than the poetry behind social movements.

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