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Seamus Heaney: The Pen and The Spade

By Logan King, IV Form

Seamus Heaney: The Pen and The Spade

“The Forge” by Seamus Heaney expands upon the theme of strength that he first established in his poem, “Digging.” However, instead of exploring the similarities between using a pen and a spade like in the latter, in “The Forge”, Heaney examines the craftsmanship and beauty a blacksmith uses despite the force required to do his job. The bluntness of the short words used contrast with their meaning to create the image of a tough, rhythmic job that creates art. He does this similarly in “Digging,” where his word choice creates a non stereotypical image of farmwork, all underscored with the rhythmic act of digging. Linking both poems is not only the sense of wonder and appreciation the author holds for the two jobs, but also regret, because he can only recognize instead of participate in the art of their work. (more…)

U.S. Historical “I am” Poems

By Samantha Sarafin, John Hart, George Littlefield, and Ginny Walsh, V Form

U.S. Historical “I am” Poems

Each of our United States History courses revolves around eight major themes prevalent throughout history. One of those themes is the question of “Who is an American” at any given time in the nation’s history. In keeping with our work and also trying to connect what we do inside our classroom to the broader St. Mark’s community and world at large, each class took their Community and Equity Day “I am” poems and looked at them from a historical angle. Each student was asked to look at an “I am” poem from the perspective of a figure from history. Some students were asked to be someone as specific as Alexander Hamilton, while others were (more…)

Northern Pacific Seastar Asterias amurensis & My Zone as an Artist

By Mei-Mei Arms, III Form

Northern Pacific Seastar Asterias amurensis & My Zone as an Artist

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(See larger image below)

This seastar originated in Japan, Korea, China and Russia, about 20-40 metres deep off the coasts of these countries. It was introduced by the ballast waters of cargo ships as they returned from these countries and used ocean water to replace the weight of cargo. They can reproduce without the aid of another sea star and can multiply in the thousands. Due their rough exterior, the Northern Pacific Seastar does not have many natural enemies. Their larvae are so small that we cannot find a way to capture them and nothing appears to eat them at that stage in their life cycle. The Sea stars eat crustaceans and due to their numerous population, when they enter a new area, their numbers can wipe out the whole population of crustaceans. They can break off limbs and these limbs can grow in to new Sea Stars, but this process does take years. (more…)

“I Am” Poetry

By Miss Amanda Hultin, English & Religion Faculty, and Charlie Mosse, Gillian Yue, Cooper Giblin, Hailey Dubose, Peter Ackerman, & Mark Wang, IV Form

“I Am” Poetry

In the first days of school, there is much that I want to learn about my students. I ask them to write, “How can I be a good teacher for you?” “What do you want me to know about you as a student? As a person?” The answers are read only by me.

I also want my students to learn about each other and to begin creating the learning environment unique to each class. I assign the “I am” poem as an exercise in thinking, writing, and talking about (more…)

The Top Of My Head Was Taken Off: At The Dodge Poetry Festival

By Sarah McCann, English Faculty

Poet Ezra Pound called poetry “news that stays news.” I subscribe to that. William Carlos Williams admonished:

It is difficult

to get the news from poems

but men and women die every day

for lack

of what is found there.

And Emily Dickinson, one of my favorites, wrote, “If I feel as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” (more…)

An Interview with Our Resident Poet

Julie Geng, V Form, Interviews Sarah McCann, English Faculty

Q: Hi Ms. McCann. Thank you for letting me interview you. To start off, could you please talk a little bit about when and how you discovered your passion for poetry?

A: Sure. I actually love words always, and my parents read to us. And we told stories to each other, and all sorts of things. But I didn’t really know anything about poetry until I was forced to write a poem in fifth grade. And it was really my teacher that opened up that territory for me because I needed that encouragement. And he wrote (more…)