Arts & Entertainment

O’Meara’s poem “And The People Stayed Home” goes viral

Kitty O’Meara — a retired school teacher from Madison, WI — decided to express her feelings regarding everything going on in the world during this pandemic in a simple Facebook post on March 13. This simple post titled “And The People Stayed Home” would then be shared over and over to later be published in “O, The Oprah Magazine” in March. 

In an article from the Waunakee Tribune, O’Meara shared, “the poem simply shares reflections in the back of my mind as I watched states start closing schools, businesses and nonessential entities.” 

“And the People Stayed Home”

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed,” by Kitty O’Meara.

As something everyone in the world can relate to, even if they’re on the other side of the world, the poem traveled across borders and inspired people to write their own poetry about the situations they were in as well — some even put O’Meara’s poem to music. 

Something so simple as a poem had the ability to change the way many thought about handling the feelings that they’re experiencing during a time with a lot of uncertainty. Writing poetry can be a simple and fun way to express feelings in a creative manner, but oftentimes people feel as if they can’t because of the rules commonly associated with poetry — such as how the lines have to fall into a certain rhyming pattern or a certain type of meter within the poem. 

What most people don’t know is that there are many ways to write poetry. In an article from Masterclass called “Poetry 101: Learn about Poetry ,” 15 poetic forms are listed. Some of which are relatively simple, such as free verse, which are poems that lack rhyme scheme and common patterns, while others are more complicated — such as sonnets, which are  types of writing that Shakespeare used to write his plays. 

This Masterclass’ article lists 15 forms, but here are some of the most simple ones: 

Blank Verse  

Written with a precise meter, blank verse usually always has an iambic pentameter and does not rhyme.  

Rhymed Poetry 

This form, like the name implies, rhymes but the pattern of how the rhymes occur can be diverse such as ABAB, AABA, AABB or ABBA. 

Free Verse  

A poem that does not have any rhyme scheme in it — making it easier for writers — it also consists of no metrical pattern or musical form. In turn, this form gives the writer complete freedom to write in any way they see fit for their piece. 


A poem that traditionally consists of only three lines — one five syllable line one seven  syllable line then five again — you can choose to continue writing in this same pattern and get a full page poem while maintaining the rhythm.

If you liked what O’Meara wrote she has her very own blog where she shares all of her own work about varying subjects over the past 9 years. Make sure to check it out at :