John Greenleaf Whittier had an important role in the 30-year struggle to abolish slavery as a politician, but also as a poet and moral force. In 1833, his friend and patron William Lloyd Garrison wrote to him in a plea to enlist to the gathering struggle, saying “Your talent, zeal, and influence are all needed”.
Oftentimes, it’s not just someone’s physical or practical help that we need, but also their zeal and encouraging words. Poems can be a great source of comfort when you need motivation to pick yourself up and keep on going during a rough patch. We hope this poem by Whittier titled ‘Don’t Quit” could be that one for you.
The Irish American teacher’s prose poem on COVID-19 outbreak goes viral.
Kitty O’Meara’s prose poem „And the people stayed home” has struck a chord with all those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, even Deepak Chopra and Oprah are raving about it.
A retired teacher, Kitty O’Meara, from the city of Madison, in Wisconsin, turned to writing in an effort to curb her own anxiety amid the nerve-wracking news of the COVID-19 pandemic. The result, which she posted to her personal Facebook, has been widely read across the world offering hope that something good can come out of this collective state of „together, apart.”
The poem, „And the people stayed home” reads:
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.
O’Meara’s poem suggests that we view this era of social distancing as a chance to undertake purposeful activities like meditation, exercise, and dancing, and result in a kind of global healing.