ODE TO OUR OCEAN WITH AMANDA GORMAN
Watch it here.
“Ode To Our Ocean”
The sea sings out to its many saviors:
Teenagers with fists thrust into the air at climate strikes,
Scientists converging around their data,
A child who stoops to scoop up a piece of trash.
The sea sings out for its singular subjects:
Arching whales that wave from their waves,
Turtles that teeter down their shining shores,
Coral reefs shining brightly as cities.
The sea sings out its suffering,
Knowing too much of waste, screeching sounds
And pernicious poison, its depths bruised by
Atrocities in the Atlantic,
Misery in the Mediterranean,
Its tides the preservers of time past.
The story of the ocean and the story of humanity
Are one and the same, a Great River that
Knows no borders and notes no lines,
While we might call it the Seven Seas,
Today we sing out your true name:
The one ocean.
For no matter how we try to separate your waters,
You are the colossus that connects us.
Water makes up 70% of Earth,
70% of the human heart,
And 70% of the human being,
All of us, bodies of water,
For we, too are oceans,
Or at least beings bobbing in the same boat.
To stand up for for our ocean
Is to stand up for our own ship
The sea is a restless, strong collective of many pieces.
So are we.
The ocean can recover.
And so will we.
Let us not divide the tides,
But discover all they have to teach us–
Green meadows of sea grass that survive pathogens,
Blue-bloodied marine snails that can fight off viruses.
There are more lessons to learn,
Still more work to be done.
So we lift our faces to the sun.
May the seas help us see healing and hope,
May we sing out the ocean’s survival and revival.
Being the people of this blue planet is our most
Profound privilege and power,
For if we be the ocean’s saviors,
Then it is surely ours.
Video edited by Emma Blackman. Footage courtesy Tori Tsui, Brooke Ryan Davis, Candace Crespi, Danni Washington, George McKenzie, Jr., and Christopher Leidy.