Poem: The Art of Growing

'The Art of Growing' is a poem written by 15-year-old poet and women's advocate Anya Thakur.

Artwork by Anya Thakur.

‘The Art of Growing’ is a poem written by 15-year-old poet and women’s advocate Anya Thakur. She works to empower and uplift communities as founder of GirlUp Dallas, a UN Women organization, and a MetoWe partner with ArtRising, which provides arts enrichment to underprivileged communities and creates diverse programming for South and East Asian women. Hosting education, self-defense, and language and literature classes to empower rural women in Delhi, Mumbai, and Munipur, and humanitarian efforts with Myna Mahila, which empowers women in rural India through health education, her women’s advocacy promotes UN Women’s mission to ensure a fair and equitable future, and she has traveled throughout the United States and India to speak for girl’s education and empowerment.

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The Art of Growing

see her laying on the ground like a fallen rose petal.

arms curled into herself protectively and legs unfurled, a swath of dawn-tinted silk draped casually over her bare form.

dead and gone.

she overdosed on life, sugary pills and hands full of wild gooseberries. addicted to art. to poetry and sin and jumping off to feel thousands of goosebumps erupt across her flesh and the stomach-swooping lurch of being truly alive. infinitesimal, unavoidable sensations swirling under her eyelids and shimmering beneath her skin.

life’s breathless moments when she said “yes” instead of “no.” unbridled passion and quiet fearlessness in letting go and screaming out her own name and chasing after herself recklessly.

too many empty bottles, nights for thinking and days for dreaming poured out into wide-rimmed glasses. lungs sticky with memories of flush-cheeked, sweat-soaked exhilaration and crossed-pinky dares and the sweet tang of cinammon and cloves lingering on her tongue.

a lone rose petal in all its bare bones glory.

and so roses die and bloom again. it’s how the bush grows and makes room for new life.

but seeds that were never sowed never lived.

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    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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