Love Poems in the Time of Climate Change by Craig Santos Perez

POEM 3

The third poem in the series was published in the New Republic in 2017. Written as a sonnet, the poet reimagines both love and the act of professing it through the language of landscape and climate change. Perez is a poet from the Pacific Island of Guåhan/Guam and the co-founder of Ala Press. He is the author of two poetry collections, the winner of the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry, and is now an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa.

LOVE POEMS IN THE TIME OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Sonnet XVII

I don’t love you as if you were rare earth metals, diamonds,
or reserves of crude oil that propagate war:
I love you as one loves most vulnerable things,
urgently, between the habitat and its loss.

I love you as the seed that doesn’t sprout but carries
the heritage of our roots, secured, within a vault,
and thanks to your love the organic taste that ripens
from the fruit lives sweetly on my tongue.

I love you without knowing how, or when, the world will end—
I love you naturally without pesticides or pills—
I love you like this because we won’t survive any other way,
except in this form in which humans and nature are kin,
so close that your emissions of carbon are mine,
so close that your sea rises with my heat.

Craig Santos Perez
ABOUT THE ANTHOLOGY

As The Crisis Escalates…

In our natural world, the issues of climate catastrophe and species extinction is a priority. Stories related to pollution, greenhouse gases, the depleting ozone layer, glacier meltdowns etc. have turned pivotal if we are to attempt to salvage what’s left of our planet earth. We as readers and responsible citizens need to take the threats to our environment seriously. We need to worry about the consequences of damaging the earth and its atmosphere and focus on finding solutions based on scientific facts, not political prejudice or business interests.

As climate change continues to wreak havoc on populations across globe, writers are fighting back with words that jolt, motivate, and best of all, provoke one to act.

Through this platform, I’m offering to the readers, a slim anthology of poems on the subject of climate change. Slim, but by no means weak or tepid. This is poetry that investigates human relationships with the environment. Each poem offers a unique perspective on climate change in its own style. All of the poems here are free to read online, and all are worth your time.

The anthology consists of ten poems that will be published weekly, compiled by Vinita Agarwal.

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