Treasure Island

Paul Hartal


Pesticide Fields


For Rachel Carson,1907-1968

In La Belle Dame sans Merci
John Keats writes about the sedge
That withered from the lake
And the birds that stopped to sing.

But unlike the poet’s merciless Dame
You, Rachel, you were a Lady
Of great compassion.

The eels and the scombrids still swim
Under the Sea Wind somehow
Yet your Silent Spring evokes
A verdant season without bird song
On the pesticide fields.

Half a century ago you warned
That the abuse of DDT
And other chemicals harm
And kill animals and humans.

And then the chemical corporations
Reacted to your words
With savage furor and venom.

They accused you with all sort of things:
Of being a hysterical woman
Without proper scientific training
Who did not understand the need
To weigh potential risks against benefits.

They also accused you
Of being responsible
For millions of deaths around the globe
Caused by malaria
Because DDT can kill mosquitoes
And a ban on it would hinder control
Of malaria transmission.

These were untrue
And malicious accusations.
In fact, you never suggested
To ban DDT or chemicals.
You just said to use pesticides
With caution and to spray
With as little as possible.

Since then your vision
Has been vindicated
And remarkably, the poisonous campaign
Of the chemical industry against you
Backfired.

The public became aware
Of the dangers of pesticides
And governments outlawed
The use of DDT.

However, you became gravely ill
In the struggle.
I don’t know
Whether the breast cancer you contracted
Was caused by environmental degradation
And pollution
Augmented by the toxic fumes
Of a vicious campaign against you.

Who knows?

Rachel, my brave and fragile,
My wise and farsighted lady,
We only know that you died
Of a heart attack.

Submitted: Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Edited: Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Pesticide Fields by Paul Hartal )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. गुलाब और सूरज, Ashutosh ramnarayan Prasad K ..
  2. गुलाब और सूरज, Ashutosh ramnarayan Prasad K ..
  3. गुलाब और सूरज, Ashutosh ramnarayan Prasad K ..
  4. Terminus, Concedo Nulli, Guillermo Veloso
  5. George Moir Black, Edgar Albert Guest
  6. The Spoiler, Edgar Albert Guest
  7. The Wide Outdoors, Edgar Albert Guest
  8. Old Mister Laughter, Edgar Albert Guest
  9. Ode to Evil, Sourabh Mishra
  10. The Lucky Man, Edgar Albert Guest

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Lawson


The old year went, and the new returned, in the withering weeks of drought,
The cheque was spent that the shearer earned,
and the sheds were all cut out;
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]