The Moment by Margaret Atwood

POEM 10

Last but not least is a poem by Margaret Atwood. A poem that explores the relationship between man and nature, about humans and the world in which they live. The poem is not about climate change per se but about the core issue at the heart of climate change – attitude. Attitude towards nature, the sense of ownership humans display towards earth’s bounties. If we stop our excessive exploitation of nature, if we shed this feeling of ownership then perhaps we will conserve and preserve nature the way it was meant to be preserved.

THE MOMENT

The moment when, after many years of
hard work and a long voyage you stand in
the centre of your room, house, half-acre,
square mile, island, country, knowing at last
how you got there, and say, I own this, 

is the same moment when the trees
unloose their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language, the
cliffs fissure and collapse, the air moves
back from you like a wave and you can’t
breathe. 

No, they whisper. You own nothing. You were
a visitor, time after time climbing the hill,
planting the flag, proclaiming. We never
belonged to you. You never found us. It was
always the other way round.

Margaret Atwood
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.

The reality of climate change, and its devastating repercussions, are more severe, and much closer at hand, than we ever imagined. Reading the news, it’s easy to feel afraid, and paralysed. The narrative behind these poems is one of warning but also one of optimism. The content is meant to wake you up, to engage you with matters of our environment and to embark on a journey, no matter how small, towards saving our planet. It’s time to say an unequivocal ‘no’ to plastic. It’s time to take bigger and bolder steps. It’s time to bequeath a safe and beautiful earth to our future generations.

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