As part of the 2020 Dear Poet project, students around the country and the world wrote letters to Marie Howe in response to a video of her reading her poem “Singularity” aloud. Marie Howe wrote letters back to four of these students; their letters and her replies are included below, along with several additional responses from students.

Marie Howe also wrote a response to all of the participants of this year's Dear Poet project.

Dear Each of you,

Thank you for your letters. I wish we were all together in a big tent right now, and that we might talk about poetry and drink apple cider and wonder about the world out loud. 

Like many of you I’ve often wondered about reality – how did we come to be here? Who are we? Where are we going?   What is the universe? Does it have an edge? An end? Who are the other animals? Do the trees talk with one another? What is the nature of time?  Why are humans so kind and so destructive?

So I started to read scientists: Books by Neil deGrasse Tyson “ Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” And Stephen Hawking  “ A Brief History of Time”.  And others. 

And learned that before what scientists call The Big Bang was what they call The Singularity – a very very dense tiny matter that exploded into Everything That Is.   

And when it exploded space occurred and with space time happened,  and galaxies and planets and etc etc etc..) so we are made-- all of us -- ( elephants, microbes, volleyballs, trees, ) out of the same atoms as that original tiny matter.   As Walt Whitman wrote “ Every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”.  And it was a relief to remember that.

We belong to the living world, we are surrounded by kin. More and more, especially in this pandemic time and political time I turn to the living world around me – it is sane,  and it teaches me to live in the present, to change, to grow.   

If we look around us we might find poetry everywhere.

Wishing you every bright wish.

Marie Howe  

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