Village Voice: A Lesson In Eco-Poetry

11.04.19

In this episode of the Village Voice, Richard Blanco reflects on a new poetry anthology from the front lines of climate change: “A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis,” edited by Meghan Sterling and Kathleen Sullivan.

Blanco told Jim and Margery the poems go “beyond the political, preaching, ranting” about climate change to “really shift our consciousness” around the issue.

He read a few poems from the anthology, including:

“After A Sign In Harbor Fish Market Portland, Maine”
by Lucia Owen.

We cannot guarantee the life of lobsters.
or of the piping plovers nesting on Old Orchard Beach.

Or of the little brown bat, the monarch butterfly
the Panamanian golden frog or the polar bear.

We regret that We can no longer support your access
to strawberries in January, asparagus from Chile, designer lattes
and thirteen choices of toothpaste.

(We acknowledge your requirements but
We are experiencing technical difficulties.)

In addition, We find We cannot guarantee
that your luggage will arrive when you do
or that your children will get into Harvard.

Or that the banquet of the world spread out before you
Will remain your own personal picnic.

Hard as it is for Us to say and you to hear,
We cannot guarantee the life of lobsters.

This episode of “Village Voice” aired on WGBH Boston Public Radio on November 4, 2019.