“You are a hundred wild centuries // And fifteen, bringing with you / In every breath and in every step // Everyone who has come before you,” writes Alberto Ríos in his poem “A House Called Tomorrow,” in which he challenges readers to consider their place in building a better world. In the poem, fitting for the new year, Ríos writes about the weight of the past, then sounds a hopeful note: “Look back only for as long as you must, / Then go forward into the history you will make.” Write a poem about your relationship to the past—your connection to the “wild centuries” of history as well as your own personal past, from early childhood to recent years marked by the private and public transformations of time. Try to include your own revelations along with the inspiration that propels you forward into a new tomorrow.
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