There are 1.3 billion people around the world who live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.25 a day. However, there are 21 percent fewer people living in extreme poverty than there were in 1990. Additionally, one billion children live in poverty. Over 750 million people live without easy access to clean water. These are not new global problems. By reading poetry, it is easy to tell that poverty has been on the minds and in the hearts of writers for centuries. Here are five poems about poverty.
Poverty by Jane Taylor
Jane Taylor wrote the famous jingle Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. She is best known for her nursery rhymes and novels. She lived in London in the late 18th and early 19th century. The speaker of this poem isn’t someone who lives in poverty, but someone who sees it from the outside. They resolve to never hide from the fight against poverty, saying “I never will squander away/ While many poor people I know/Around me are wretched as they.”
The Curse of Poverty by Ramesh Rai
Poverty is a curse for human society
Poverty prevails there where the injustice is
Poverty exclaims there where the illiteracy is
Poverty is purely man-made
So it has to be eradicated from its root”
The speaker acknowledges the human fault in the creation of poverty. Additionally, they identify the necessity for humans to fix the problem by eliminating it from their “roots.” Click here for more poems by Ramesh Rai.
Each Man For Himself by tyktmy
Another of the five poems of poetry is this poem which resolves that all humankind are one. Further, it is necessary to act this way by helping each other. The speaker points out that, while some are starving and dying, others are doing nothing about it. This puts people in different worlds when they should be living among each other in support.
Stop Child Labor Now by Simon Amu
“It is most happening in Africa.
And far in the corners of Asia
Save them from risk and danger
Make life live wealthy for them
To protect the future leaders”
There are 1 billion children worldwide who live in poverty. In addition, according to UNICEF, poverty kills 22,000 children every day.
Children around the world are hungry, even when they are working. Eradicating poverty will save children from diseases they can’t afford medication for, dying from starvation and having to work hard for little pay when they should be in school getting an education.
Mother Africa Wept by Marcus Dawes
“Nations United to collect said cheques due to…
our collective neglect, an inability to keep it all in check.”
This poem features a speaker who is frustrated by the inaction of people around the world and their disconnect from the continent of Africa. While people are distracted by luxuries, they have forgotten about their homeland. So while they enjoy their lives, Africa weeps. This poem makes the reader think about the ways they can be distracted from taking action or the ways they may be ignorant of the suffering due to poverty.
Reading these five poems about poverty and other poetry can be an excellent way to better understand it. One simple way to take action against poverty is to contact elected officials. Senators and representatives act based on their constituencies, so the more communication they receive about a certain issue, like global poverty, the more likely they are to support measures to alleviate it.
– Ava Gambero