Saving the Planet

Saving the Planet
Something to die for

To die: to give up life for
to die for means to live for
would we want to die for what
we would not live for?

We cannot die for ourselves since death is the end of us
we cannot live for ourselves since that is absurdity
we die for what we can give and abandon generously

Here is what we die for:
our family name and honour
our children and children’s children
the principle of beauty in truth
a working mind and heart
humans who live with the planet
who thrive on thrift
who love to share and build
more life, life to die for.
Tessa Ransford
Reproduced by permission of the author.
Tessa Ransford

‘No one has done more for the cause of poetry in Scotland ....' - poetry activist Tessa Ransford was the founder of the Scottish Poetry Library. 

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About Saving the Planet

This poem was commissioned by Robin Harper, MSP for the Lothians, in 2005. It was part of the second stage of the SPL’s Holyrood Link project, through which poets and MSPs were partnered and explored areas of mutual interest.

Tessa Ransford commented:
It was very interesting working with Robin. I had one whole morning in his department, and also drew on my extensive experience as writing fellow at the Centre for Human Ecology 2001-2004.