Go and Plant a Tree

Plant a tree

Go Barbados and plant

A palm tree

Turn the water off

Drink booze

Take a shower with

Someone else

Take a shower with


Go Barbados and plant a palm tree (Photo Credit: gemteck1).

This is a poem written by a ‘non-expert’, as part of a research project which used poetry to develop dialogue around environmental change. The theme of this poem was what the individual could do to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The way society reacts to global environmental change is not wholly dependent on the scientists that are observing its effects, but is rather the collective responsibility of everyone that is affected by these observations. However, in raising awareness to engender positive change, it is often the most vulnerable communities that find themselves neglected. This study presents a new approach to discussing environmental change with underserved audiences, via a series of facilitated workshops in which participants were encouraged to engage with experts through the creation of poetry.

This research found that writing poetry presents a way for underserved audiences to express their thoughts and needs in relation to environmental change, and that through the interpretation of this poetry we can better understand the lifeworld of these audiences. Furthermore, in reading these poems it becomes apparent that issues of responsibility, hopelessness, and trust need to be considered when creating a platform through which environmental change can be discussed.


An audio version of the poem can be heard here.

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