Whispers of the Lorax – Ashwin Raghuraman

Whispers of the Lorax: A Poetic Tale of Environmental Consequences

Words Ashwin Raghuraman

This poem was created using language from Dr. Seuss’ book The Lorax, in an attempt to bridge the moral narrative we tell children with our determined policy actions.

The Lorax is a children’s book by Dr. Seuss that tells the story of the Onceler, who tries to degrade the environment for business profits, and the Lorax, who “speaks for the trees”. This book is often separated from policy activism, as people believe that stories narrated to children can’t inform real-world policy. However, through this found poem, I attempt to craft a contemporary narrative of the Lorax, illustrating how unregulated business can cause untold harm to both the environment and people.

The Lorax is attempting to “speak for the trees,” however his voice is drowned out by both the profit-driven paradigm of the loggers, and by the environmental destruction the Onceler (which represents businesses) causes. The effects of deforestation are described using onomatopoeic language, which serves to connect business actions to tangible harm. In the end, the voice of the Lorax is drowned into a whisper by those who destroy the environment, which has devastating real-world implications.

I chop a tree,

And hear a bossy Lorax;

I speak,

I speak,

I said I speak;

I call,

I called,

I said, I speak;

My business,

Chopping trees,

No food,

Find food;

Business is business,

Regardless of harm;

Big cough,

Big whiff,

Big sneeze,

Big snuffle;

Big snarggle,

Big sniff,

Big croak,

Big smoke.