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By Sophie Chiang, IV Form
A Response to Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb”
Editor’s Note: IV Form students in Ms. Lauren Kelly’s Survey of Literary Genres course were asked to craft a poem in response to Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised, but
whole; benevolent, but bold; fierce and free” (Amanda Gorman).
Make America great again,
They chant ominously.
A sea of red-hatted zombies,
Brainwashed and hijacked by this view
Of a beautiful country.
“Go back to Chyyna!” he sneers,
Teeth bared and mocking.
What he doesn’t know that in China,
The people call America “mei guo”,
meaning beautiful country.
How could it be that this land
Where first graders hide under decaying desks
And in dirty bathrooms
To live past the gunshots?
Is it really beautiful,
When people who possess skin
That is too dark to be worthy,
Face brutality and discrimination,
Terrorization and demonization?
We will not make America great again,
In all honesty,
it never was.
We will not march back to what it once was,
But move on to what it will be,
United and free,
Compassionate and loving,
Bold and brave,
Fulfilling the prophecy of “mei guo”,
A beautiful country.
By Abby Griffin, V Form
La Plage: A French Poem
Instructor Note from Dr. Downing Kress: As a class we read “Le Pont Mirabeau” by Guillaume Apollinaire. In this poem, the poet visits the Mirabeau bridge in Paris and, as he watches the Seine river flow by underneath the bridge, he is reminded of the passage of time and reflects on a love that is no more. I then asked the students to write their own poem about a special place that is significant to them – one that evokes emotion, memory, sensations, etc. Abby decided to write her poem about the beach in the form of a “calligramme,” a form of poetry often used by Apollinaire. The shape/spatial arrangement made by the poem’s text reflects the subject of the poem and plays a role in its meaning.(more…)
By Grace Li and Rebecca Wu, V Form
El Cambio Climático no Existe: Poetry as Protest in Advanced Spanish
Assignment Note: In Advanced Spanish Language and Culture, students learned about using art and music as a form of protest. As an assignment, they were tasked with creating a piece of art that reflected their thoughts about an issue in society. The poem is about the importance of speaking out for climate change. It describes what is going on right now and what students could be doing to use their voices to make a positive impact in the world.
El Cambio Climático no Existe
“El cambio climático no existe”
Una afirmación de Trump que es muy triste
El gobierno no ha hecho nada
Por lo tanto la gente está enojada
La falta de progreso
Crea mucho descontento
Y hay muchas protestas
porque no hay otros planetas
By Catie Summers, V Form
Which Woman is the Wicked Witch? Atwood’s Feminist Revision of Witch Hangings
The inspiration for Margaret Atwood’s poem “Half-Hanged Mary” was drawn from Atwood’s ancestor Mary Webster. Yet, Atwood’s eerie portrayal of a seventeenth-century woman’s battle with death, inner demons, and societal norms is written with a punch of feminist revision. Throughout Atwood’s poem, “Half-Hanged Mary,” particularly in the third and fourth stanzas, the foundation of a true, yet uncanny, occurrence is laced with a feminist revision of the history in question: that of witch-hunting in the seventeenth-century America.(more…)
By Anuoluwa Akibu, V Form
Dodge Poetry Festival Reflection: She Felt Prosaic Poetic
On October 18, 2018, she came in wanting to improve her poetry. She felt prosaic. However, to her surprise, she entered a world far more different than she envisioned, a world of discussion rather than lecture, of insight rather than instruction. Instead of organized workshops to scrutinize her work in, she was given a program complete with introductory statements of the poets and a schedule of the events, the venues in which they were held, and the attending poets and the freedom to choose what she attended.
Prior to the Dodge Poetry Festival, she simply felt uncomfortable with her poetry, as she could not identify her voice in it. She forced strange words on a paper for outward validation and ignored her internal articulation. Her so-called “self-expression” was, in truth, silencing her. This was weird for her because creative writing has always been one of her passions, yet she was creating barriers between it and herself.
Of course, her voice was not entirely lost, but the Dodge Poetry Festival was an opening to an overcoming of this feeling of mediocrity, and she wasn’t disappointed. (more…)
By Kendall Sommers, III Form
Introduction from the Poet:
I enjoy writing poetry because using words creatively is an art form that acts as an outlet for me. Depicting my emotions with strings of words allows me to be more in tune to my inner self and helps me to explore different forms of expression. I am often inspired when reading my poems over again. I thoroughly enjoy seeing myself grow emotionally as a writer and as a person. The fact that there truly is always room for improvement in writing is fascinating for me. This understanding of poetry is what drives me to keep pouring myself into these pages. In addition, I also explore poetry by reading the works of other people, whether these are poems in books or magazines or the portfolios that my friends have me read over. I learn something from every line I read, and I am inspired by how open and unique every word and every writer is. I especially love the creative genre in which I write: free verse. I choose to write in a narrative tone because it allows for the story I always have to shine through. Some of my stories are emotional, some are funny, and some are seemingly meaningless, but I use all of them as a method of exploring my thoughts and seeing how they appear to other people as text.
Below are some of my poems with explanations of how I crafted them. (more…)
By Madeleine Wass, IV Form
Poetry and The Intimacy of Writing
Since a young age, I have loved writing. At first, it was a great pass time and then developed into a passion. I first learned about poetry in my sixth grade English class, and I then began to keep a journal with ramblings of words that, over time, began to string together. Ever since then, poetry has been with me through tough times. It comes to me the easiest when strong emotions run high, such as anger, sadness, or frustration. Poetry is a wonderful way to channel what I am feeling. My poems can come in many different forms; no way is the right way. For me, it is more about just being able to express what is going through my mind or something that has happened. I also use my poems to record and to remember the feelings I had during an event. When I place my pen on the paper, I just feel the thoughts in my head flowing out. Sometimes they are jumbled and other times they fit well together. My main goal is about capturing what I am feeling while escaping the weight of the world. The following excerpt is from a poem I wrote about a beautiful hike I went on: (more…)
By Yangfan Helynna Lin, VI Form
Preservation of Metaphor in Translation: Analyzing the Chinese Poet Su Shi
“Bad translations communicate too much” (1). In After Babel, George Steiner points out that a bad translation strips the original text of something important by unnecessarily applying new elements to the original text. In English translations of Chinese poems, one type of bad translation attempts at over-explaining the metaphors, or metaphorical objects, in the poem, which puts readers at the risk of accessing less information that the metaphor otherwise would have presented to the reader- – that is, a fuller image that the poem originally presents.
Let’s compare the following two translations of the same poem: Nian Nu Jiao: Chi Bi Huai Gu by Chinese poet Su Shi (2). *Literally translated into “Nian Nu Jiao: At Chi Bi Cherishing the Past”, with which Nian Nu Jiao is the tune that the poem rhymes.