How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
This poem is in the public domain.
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
Poetry used by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Ralph W. Franklin ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Copyright © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
We sing and dance in praise of the butterfly—
all its life
from orchid to cacao,
ceiba to banana and fig,
tying invisible strings
that hold our home in the sky.
lest we drop
into an abyss,
where the gods won’t find us.
where butterflies work
for you and me,
keep rivers full and flowing—
Amapari, Canapantuba and Feliz,
the wide and deep goddess far beyond we call the Sea,
Rain—floods and drought,
a mist or fog,
the sun finds us each dawn
after a journey home,
when the moon comes to guide
both the weary and the ready
to pounce and hide—
our home is burning.
Menacing fires blaze.
Moneyed Whites rid the earth
of the people,
anacondas and spider monkeys,
hawks and toucans,
cicadas and cinnamon,
glass frogs and vines,
palm and rubber trees,
tapirs and manatees.
We hear their screams
And all that dies silently.
A Amazônia está queimando.
They want our abundant lands
and to annihilate our Mother’s opulence.
They will end the dance of the butterflies
and then what?
We, too, will die
like in a story told by the ancestors
that we only imagined.
They come for our copper, gold, ore
Ranchers and loggers raze the land.
At the United Nations Bolsonaro1 announced,
Don’t listen to what you hear on the news. Lies.
Nothing is burning, nothing has been set ablaze.
We are Waiapi.
We keep the butterflies happy.
They stay working
to hold the planet in place.
We are the guardians
of our Mother.
Each day before I go to school,
I smear the sweet juice of urucum seeds
on my body and face.
They are protection
from insects and evil spirits.
I sit in a classroom with thatched roof
and other Waiapi women.
I am the only grandmother there.
I am Chief of my people.
I will learn to write and speak
for the butterfly
to those who set fires
and to the ones who may help
save our home.
1Current president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.
Copyright © 2021 by Ana Castillo. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 27, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.