Poem: “Kindness,” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Poem: “Kindness,” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between...

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Poem: “Questionnaire to Oneself,” by Audre Lorde

Poem: “Questionnaire to Oneself,” by Audre Lorde

1. What are the words you do not have yet? [Or, “for what do you not have words, yet?”] 2. What do you need to say? [List as many things as necessary] 3. What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them,...

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Poem: “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus

Poem: “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows...

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Poem: “The Hidden Law,” by W.H. Auden

Poem: “The Hidden Law,” by W.H. Auden

The Hidden Law does not deny Our laws of probability, But takes the atom and the star And human beings as they are, And answers nothing when we lie. It is the only reason why No government can codify, And verbal definitions mar The Hidden Law. Its utter patience will...

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Poem: “No Man is an Island,” by John Donne

Poem: “No Man is an Island,” by John Donne

No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manor of thy friend's Or of thine own were: Any man's death...

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Poem: “Peacemaking,” by Caryn Leigh Wideman

Poem: “Peacemaking,” by Caryn Leigh Wideman

Leave the violence to those                 who believe in violence Leave the aggression to those                 who are aggressive. Live the alternative. Seek out the immigrant, the handicapped,                 the queer, the woman, the child,                 the...

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Poem: “I Won’t Hatch,” by Shel Silverstein

Poem: “I Won’t Hatch,” by Shel Silverstein

Oh I am a chicken who lives in an egg, But I will not hatch, I will not hatch. The hens they all cackle, the roosters all beg, But I will not hatch, I will not hatch. For I hear all the talk of pollution and war As the people all shout and the airplanes roar, So I’m...

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Poem: “Shema,” by Primo Levi

Poem: “Shema,” by Primo Levi

You who live secure In your warm houses Who return at evening to find Hot food and friendly faces: Consider whether this is a man, Who labors in the mud Who knows no peace Who fights for a crust of bread Who dies at a yes or a no. Consider whether this is a woman,...

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