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Earthseed by Octavia Butler | Black History Month Poetry

Octavia Butler: Her history and poetry | Kayla Boyette

“You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” ― Octavia E. Butler

An American science fiction author, a teacher, and recipient of Hugo and Nebula awards, and an inspiration. Octavia Butler was an extraordinary woman of talent, her work being recognized as early as 13 years old when she submitted one of her stories to a science fiction magazine.

As one of the first African American and female science fiction writers, her novels focused on themes revolving around injustice towards African Americans, global warming, women’s rights, and political disparity. And while she wasn’t a poet, many of her stories contained poetry including Parable of the Sower. This 1993 speculative fiction novel was part of an unfinished trilogy that was in the works before Butler’s sudden passing in 2006 at 58 years old. 

The main poem in the novel that stands out is Earthseed; a haunting message about knowledge and its movement from the knowledge to the knower. It is also an allegory about the Kingdom of God and how everything within the novel and life can have a hidden meaning. 

Kayla Boyette


by Octavia E. Butler

Here we are –




Shaping life,


Shaping Mind


Shaping God.


We are born

Not with purpose,

But with potential.

All that you touch

You Change.

All that you Change

Changes you.

The only lasting truth

Is Change.


Is Change.

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