A Joyful Call to Arms

I love this Ada Limón poem, because it expresses that complicated mix of uncertainty and wonder that comes from asking yourself “what if?” Her big question, “what would happen if we decided to survive more?” can mean so many different things. It can refer to the human response to climate change. It might be asking how we can come together in our communities to support each other. It could even be referring to families and friendships. At the heart of this big question, there’s a kind of joy, and that’s what I want you to think about in this final exercise. 

Take a minute to think about these questions: What gives you joy? What makes you want to get up in the morning? It could be your dog, or your mum, or your favourite band, or beans on toast, anything that makes your heart sing and puts a smile on your face. 

In this final piece of writing, I want you to celebrate what gets you through, what gives you joy. You can write a poem, a piece of nonfiction, or a story – whatever you’re inspired to do. 

Some tips:

  • Always include concrete details (remember the recycling bins and the streetlight from Limón’s poem)
  • Take a few minutes before you start writing to think about what you’re going to write about, and note down those ideas 
  • Look back over some of the writing you’ve already done – are there any lines or ideas you want to include?

One way of starting this exercise is to begin your piece with ‘What If’ – but feel free to ignore this if you want!

If you're proud of your call to arms, why not share it with us? Ask your parent or guardian to email [email protected] and put Call To Arms as the subject line.