The story behind ‘And the People Stayed Home,’ the little poem that became so much more

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The story behind ‘And the People Stayed Home,’ the little poem that became so much more

Dec 11 2020

When she sat down at her computer one morning this spring, Kitty O’Meara didn’t intend to write an iconic poem, a children’s book or an opera. But in roughly 20 minutes, she did all three.

It all began rather innocently on Friday, March 13. “I sat down in my living room with a cup of tea next to me, my Chromebook on my lap and typed a Facebook post,” O’Meara said by phone from her home outside Madison, Wis. “It was no big deal.”

Oh, but it was. Very quickly O’Meara’s 113-word prose poem became a communal beacon of hope, attracting the attention of Oprah and opera and thousands more...

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