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Alumni Voices: from science to verse - finding creativity in your subject area

Monica (MSc Water: Science and Governance, 2017) wondered whether a degree in a technical field can lead to creative thinking and writing poetry. In her own experience, it very much can. Monica tells us more about her fascination with the captivating nature of water outside of her career.

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The Ripple Effect

While conducting my research, I realised that my degree in Water: Science and Governance had awakened a deep and emotional connection with water and nature that surpassed the boundaries of academia. I developed an appreciation for its ever-changing forms, cycles, impact and beauty. Water became my muse, and upon returning to the US, I found myself transforming science into verse.

Diving into Poetry

Once I returned to Boston, I sought inspiration within the city. I had already cultivated the drive and the need to create something beautiful. Everywhere I went became a sensory feast, and the inspiration to write flowed effortlessly. Seated on the banks of the Charles River, I witnessed the embodiment of harmony, where the natural and urban landscapes merged into a place of tranquility and contemplation. Poetry became my sanctuary and a means to connect to the beauty weaved in my water science studies.

The Language of Water

As I explored different bodies of water and their sources, I began to realise a correlation between myself and the subjects of my poems. My thoughts and emotions were moulded into lyrical verses, much like how water carves through its surroundings. Walking with my notebook, I write in beautiful and precise language—a language that is a gift to oneself and anyone with a thirst for it.

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Closest to My Heart

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

- From 'The Wild Geese' by Mary Oliver


These are the closing lines from my favorite poem, ‘The Wild Geese’. To me, they signify that the world is in perfect order. There is inherent harmony in everything, and even amidst the hardships and challenges this is how it should be. We are meant to feel connected to the world, fostering a sense of belonging and utilizing our imagination throughout life. Nature graciously offers itself to us, inviting us over and over.


By intertwining my emotions and wisdom, I have forged a connection between science and art, harmonizing nature with contemplation, and rediscovering what grounds me to nature. Water continues to anchor my creativity, reminding me how to find solace and connection along a gently flowing river.

If you yearn for a creative outlet alongside your studies, do yourself a favor and explore those unexpected avenues. You never know what might inspire you.

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