Poems of our climate Logo drawing

c/o Sofia Baluyut

About the Column:

Poems of Our Climate is a weekly poetry column run by Sofia Baluyut ’23. The column was founded by Oliver Egger ’23 as a part of the literary magazine group Route 9. Submit and read past issues of The Lavender at Route9.org. If you are interested in having your poem featured in this column, Poems of Our Climate, please email your work directly to sbaluyut@wesleyan.edu

Praise Song 

After Martín Espada 

This is where the student loosens her muscles

from the library and lies down, her mind

breaks from the hard bone of calculus to write the dream

of a poem. The roof unfolds to reveal the sky, 

trembling like piano strings. 


This is where the mother shuts off her computer. She has ignored

her body for years. Her heart is a brass yellow drum

pounding signals of urgent need to her brain. Her body

follows her heart. She grabs her electric scooter, 

the wind carries wisps of her hair, the breath of the universe,

she has never known the world like this before.


This is where the man closes his eyes after punching out. 

The bang and drum of the soybean factory 

hammers through conveyor belt capillaries. 


He listens to his heart 

remembers that it connects

to the veins in his wrists.


Beneath his eyelids there is his mother. 

It is morning time in Anhui.

She makes a pot of tea, steam unfurling 

as she sings an old song.


About the Poet: 

Emily Chen ’23 is a writer from Lexington, Massachusetts with roots in Anhui and Fujian provinces in China. They can be reached at echen02@wesleyan.edu.

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