Maddie Aitken Cassidy Begley Katie Broccoli Bella Byrne Fernando Thomas de Carranza Rachel Cohen Aiden Cooke Sabryna Coppola Clare Costello Vinnie Crea Belle Crocco Caleb Dorf Eli Dorf Clara Einhorn Jean Fang Ana Gabarrรณ Margot Gaggini Zack Gentil Eric Hoffman Eli Italiaander Rain Ji Sam Johnson Eva Jones Michael Kassis Eoghan Kelly Jack Kennedy Song Kim
Christian Kummer Joey Lin Anna Maxwell Sommer Miller Paige Moffat Ali Noeding Allie Paster Pere Pericot Anh Pham Dana Ross Hannah Rossi Ele Schickler Cordelia Schoen Kyle Searles Jenna Sittler Meiye Song Sean Thrane Keelan Ulnick Brendon Vejseli Kayla Walewski Morgan Welles Miranda Yang Kio Yoshinaga Brent Young Talia Zabit Tony Zhang
Stray Shot 2017
STRAY SHOT 2017 Editors: Vinnie Crea, Margot Gaggini, Zack Gentil, Eric Hoffman, Eli Italiaander, Eoghan Kelly, Jack Kennedy, Song Kim, Allie Paster, Cordelia Schoen, Kyle Searles, Keelan Ulnick, Brendon Vejseli, Morgan Welles, Brent Young Faculty Advisor: Mr. Benson
CONTENTS Cover photograph by Miranda Yang Raindrop by Hannah Rossi ...................................................................................... 1 Three Poems by Margot Gaggini ............................................................................ 2 Lion (artwork) by Tony Zhang .................................................................................. 3 Daydreamer by Eva Jones ....................................................................................... 5 Poems by Zack Gentil ............................................................................................... 6 Illustration by Jenna Sittler ........................................................................................ 7 The Magical Eastern Words by Rain Ji ................................................................... 8 Haikus by Aiden Cooke ............................................................................................ 9 Two Poems by Eric Hoffman .................................................................................. 10 Miku (artwork) by Meiye Song .................................................................................. 11 Bubble Tea by Jean Fang ...................................................................................... 12 Three Poems by Eli Italiaander .............................................................................. 14 Two Poems by Anna Maxwell ................................................................................ 16 Horseradish Killed My Faith by Anna Maxwell ..................................................... 17 Limerick and a translation by Eoghan Kelly ......................................................... 18 Illustration by Jenna Sittler ...................................................................................... 19 Life is Like a Bottle of Water by Caleb Dorf ........................................................ 20 Three Poems by Allie Paster .................................................................................. 21 In Amber by Sabryna Coppola ............................................................................... 24 Illustration by Meiye Song ....................................................................................... 25 Big Mac by Fernando Thomas de Carranza ........................................................... 26 My Dream by Fernando Thomas de Carranza ....................................................... 27 Marathon by Tony Zhang ....................................................................................... 28 Strangers by Bella Byrne ....................................................................................... 29 An Eerie Lullaby by Cassidy Begley ...................................................................... 30 Photograph by Miranda Yang .................................................................................. 31 Essay by Pere Pericot ............................................................................................. 32 She and I by Katie Broccoli ..................................................................................... 34
Power of Sounds by Joey Lin ................................................................................ 35 Human by Maddie Aitken........................................................................................ 36 Only You by Ele Schickler ...................................................................................... 37 Shoes by Eli Dorf .................................................................................................... 39 Haiku by Eli Dorf ..................................................................................................... 40 Illustration by Anh Pham ......................................................................................... 41 Clock by Ana Gabarró ............................................................................................ 42 The Gray Afternoon by Ana Gabarró .................................................................... 43 Two poems by Brent Young ................................................................................... 44 A Book by Belle Crocco.......................................................................................... 46 Spring Rain by Belle Crocco .................................................................................. 47 Alarm Clock by Ali Noeding ................................................................................... 48 Boots by Ali Noeding .............................................................................................. 49 Poems by Kyle Searles........................................................................................... 50 Hope at Belleau Wood by Michael Kassis ............................................................. 52 Boots by Michael Kassis ........................................................................................ 53 Poems by Brendon Vejseli ...................................................................................... 54 Poem by Vinnie Crea .............................................................................................. 58 It’s Not You, It’s Me by Paige Moffat ..................................................................... 59 Take a Break by Jean Fang ................................................................................... 60 Bloody Travellers by Michael Kassis ..................................................................... 61 Poem by Jack Kennedy .......................................................................................... 62 dear me by Clare Costello ...................................................................................... 63 Essay by Anh Pham ............................................................................................... 68 Abecedary by Cordelia Schoen .............................................................................. 70 Photograph by Miranda Yang ................................................................................. 75 John Muir by Morgan Welles ................................................................................ 76 In the Valley of Welles by Morgan Welles ............................................................. 77 The Beach by Keelan Ulnick .................................................................................. 78 Two poems by Keelan Ulnick ................................................................................ 79 White Elephants by Aiden Cooke .......................................................................... 80
Photograph by Kayla Walewski .............................................................................. 81 Ruined by Rachel Cohen ....................................................................................... 82 Three Poems by Song Kim .................................................................................... 85 Three Poems by Dana Ross ................................................................................. 88 To My Fish by Paige Moffat .................................................................................... 94 Essay by Miranda Yang ......................................................................................... 96 Har Gow by Joey Lin ............................................................................................. 98 The Long Fifteen Yards by Michael Kassis ......................................................... 100 Bucky by Sean Thrane ........................................................................................ 102 Good Food and Good Memories by Sommer Miller ........................................... 103 The Journey Before Dark by Talia Zabit ............................................................. 105 Two Poems by Rachel Cohen ............................................................................. 106 Speech by Clara Einhorn ..................................................................................... 109 Poem by Kio Yoshinaga ........................................................................................ 110 Photograph by Kayla Walewski ............................................................................ 112 Two Poems by Christian Kummer ........................................................................ 113 Quarantine (artwork) by Anh Pham ....................................................................... 114 Whose woods these are, I really couldnâ€™t tell you by Sam Johnson ................ 116 Photograph by Miranda Yang ................................................................................ 117
The editors thank the faculty of the English and Art Departments for their assistance with this publication. For back issues of the Stray Shot, see the website of The Gunnery, Campus Life, then Student Publications.
Raindrop by Hannah Rossi I fall, fall, fall from above, not sure where I will land Luckily, I get caught on a clear window pane I look in and I can see people inside I look around, I notice others being caught on the same window pane My friend to my left asks me if I want to race We race down the window pane I knock into my other friends, but I am not too worried I just want to win We race, race, race from the top to the bottom I hit the bottom first, I rejoice Then I realize that I canâ€™t get back up I am stuck, I canâ€™t move My friend reaches me and he becomes stuck I tried to warn him but it was too late.
Three Poems by Margot Gaggini
At the age of 5 I was told how to act like a girl At 10 I was told how to dress At 13 I was told I needed to kiss a boy And at 15 I was told how to dress for boys Slowly, Iâ€™ve realized most of my decisions were not for me I was being told by social media, magazines, and even greek sculptures What a woman should look like, act like, do.
I decided in that moment I would do everything for me. What I wear is for me. What I say is for me. My decisions with boys, thats for me too. Nothing I do or say will be because of our patriarchal society.
I was taught that my body is a temple. I taught myself that a temple is a temple and my body is A body and I am the god it was built for.
Love How crazy is it to think The person who makes you the happiest Could also make you the saddest
Strangers love is strange, so it’s not a secret that all lovers start out as strangers to the idea that this, whatever this is– whether it works or not, it’s going to be alright no one is fond of the idea that people will change love is weird. two weirdos accepting each other for who they are. you shouldn’t have to change the volume of your laughter to fit the space love me until i can fill these pages with more love. and in the end nothing else matters as long as you’ll love me for me. don’t ask me to change. just love me for all that i am. we all want to be complex, i want you to grow when we run into each other, i want your heart to feel ten times bigger we’re just old souls searching for the warmth of home
Daydreamer by Eva Jones There is a girl. She resides in the realm between reality and the dreams of stars, which despite being giant, gaseous balls of fire have dreams too. It was the improbable nature of this realm that drew her in and captivated her, so much so that she became a shadow of a person in reality. People started to worry, as she would daze around with stars in her eyes, unseeing of the present. Was she clueless? Was she enlightened? Was she really missing out on anything at all? For the world is oftâ€™ dark and cold and when she was present only seas of sadness resided in the orbs between her nose. She could escape though, and ah how wonderful it was! To gaze off into the far-reaching abyss and search for that tiny spark, straining to see it until it bursts forth, encompassing her entirely. Blooms of aquamarine, amethyst, amaranth, amber, and azure start the story, swirling with elation and anticipation of what the girl may dream. Far off places with knights and aliens and warm blankets and pop tarts and joy and love and happiness so bright it's blinding. Then the bell rings. The darkness crawls in, the glowing sun replaced with glaring florescent, the lovely flowers with horny teenagers covered in acne and angst. Sadness flows like a stream through the souls of the mindless, monotonous herd. She slowly blends into one of them, allowing the grey to encompass the vibrant creativity that emanated from her. It was such a shame, she could have been something special, but it was that grey permeating the pores of all those herded in there by the bell each morning. Why is it that the brightest stars must always burn the fastest until that light is relinquished to the darkness of the universe? We all stare for a moment at the brightness of that beautiful star, but in actuality it has already died, its loss of light simply hasnâ€™t traveled through the universe to us yet. Amazing how it can still light up the sky in our eyes even if it has already died. It is these brilliant people lighting up the world that truly see the darkness surrounding them. They fight, but itâ€™s still there, everywhere.
Poems by Zack Gentil
Waterbury The people in town Walk aimlessly down the street Waterbury life Coffee Coffee with no milk Darker than I remember What is this demon Can I do this? Unidentified Oversimplification Abomination Stuff I need stuff to write I don't have enough of these So here is one more School I just want the end Move on to better places It's been 4 long years Apple The apple falls hard Hitting the man on the head It's Isaac Newton 7 I think it's too much Seven per page is too high Can we compromise
The Magical Eastern Words by Rain Ji My lips touch each other softly twice, I say Mama, I seek for refuge in her soft arms. My lips touch each other powerfully twice, I say Baba, I follow his steps seeking strength. I smile and giggle, my tongue touches my jaw, I say Jiejie, I seek for the blood-related warmth. My language is natural, I say Feng, wind comes out of my mouth echoing what it means. I say Xue, you hear snowflakes falling out piece by piece. My language is succinct, It takes less time to pronounce each number, giving me more time to calculate than anyone else. My language is accurate, I can refer to each of my family member by various codes, each sounding sweet and caring. My language is magical, It nurtures me since my infancy, It guides me through difficulties. The magical eastern words.
Haikus by Aiden Cooke
The pavement is rough, I fall from my bicycle, I want my mother
The fish swims swiftly, Evading all predators But not my fishnet.
Amphibians die. As the heat becomes too high, We will soon follow.
Death is all normal. It is our reactions That are grotesque.
Two Poems by Eric Hoffman Unfortunate occurrences Fire Fire Fire alarm Baby poo in daddy’s arm Listen listen listen The cat is pissin’ Where, where? Over there Run run get the gun! Oh, nevermind -He’s all done. There was a lady in Nantucket She got her foot stuck in a bucket She tried to shake it off and off But she couldn’t So she said oh f&%$! it It happened so quick At the city the gods picked Destroying everything in sight The eruption blocked the light. Pompeii is quite the tourist sight.
Ode to sleeping Oh sleep I miss you If only I didn’t have to go to breakfast check in I feel happier when I’m on my side Without you sleep I cannot survive You are always on my mind Oh sleep you are my favorite
Bubble Tea by Jean Fang “Cheryl, can you bring me a cup of bubble tea?” “Emma, can you buy me a bubble tea? I will pay you later.” I always ask my friends whoever goes to New York City to bring me some bubble tea. Bubble tea has been my favorite beverage in my whole life. Some people might think that I am exaggerating, but I am serious. Living at The Gunnery - the middle of nowhere- is not depressing at all. However, not having bubble tea at least twice a week is really torturous for me. My school in Malaysia starts at 12 o’clock and ends at 6:45pm. Every day before going to school, I get a cup of bubble tea from a shop, which is ten minutes away from my house. The weather is so hot outside in the afternoon that a cold beverage is a necessity. At this moment, a cup of ice milk tea with a lot of chewy tapioca balls inside is a perfect match for the 90-degree weather. Every time I drink it, I can feel the cold milk tea sliding through my throat into my stomach, and the tapioca balls in my mouth that I chew on are just satisfying. Some people might ask if I get bored of drinking the same beverage every day. The answer is definitely a “no.” There are lots of flavours that I can choose other than the original one, such as taro milk tea, matcha latte, lemonade and even honey aloe vera. Also, I have the option to choose the percentage of sugar in our drinks. My favorite one among all of these options is the original one: bubble milk tea with 30% of sugar. I have it a little sweetened because I want to control the amount of sugar I absorb. This is the only way to make what I do seem healthier. Bubble tea is full of reminiscences for me: my happy middle school life and even my childhood, when my parents only allowed me to drink it once a week. One big problem here at The Gunnery is that there is nowhere I can go to get this fancy beverage. The nearest bubble tea shop is Danbury Mall, one hour away from my school. This is truly depressing, so during every Head's Weekend, I indulge into bubble tea by drinking it as much as I want. Surprisingly, I find one of my good friends Victor is addicted to bubble tea as well. When we hang out together during the break, we spend most of our time going to the bubble tea shops. Even Miranda, another friend of mine, who does not like bubble tea that much, has become addicted to it as well. I still remember once when we had international coffee hour and Mrs Theobald made us bubble tea, I was so surprised. I even screamed when I got her email, saying the bubble tea was waiting for us in Bourne reading room. That is my favourite coffee hour at The Gunnery ever! Last spring, School Dining Hall also held a Bubble Tea Day. I was so happy that I skipped lunch and dinner to have five cups of bubble tea that day. Bubble tea recalls lots of good memories for me. The time I walked to school with my friends with iced bubble tea. The time that Victor and I were so full that we almost threw up but we insisted on having another cup of bubble tea, which made
Miranda think that we are crazy. Also, the time I ran six miles to burn the fat I gained from 5 cups of bubble tea on the Bubble Tea Day. For other people, bubble tea might be just some random beverage with tapioca balls inside. However, for me, bubble tea is the most heartwarming drink ever. Just to let you know, the Bubble Tea Day is on April 25th and the dining hall is going to serve plenty of that beverage. This is so exciting!
Three Poems by Eli Italiaander Snow You fall so gently from the sky Like a feather Gently touching the cold wet ground Adding some beauty to the world around You make a blanket so nice and clean Sometimes when I drive, you can be mean MIllions of white flakes falling from the sky Inches and inches adding up You give me joy You give me pleasure Skiing on you is always great Like a little treasure You fall so gently from the sky Creating a blanket on the ground But you don’t keep the ground warm It stays cold and bitter until the heat swarms
Summer I miss you so much I’m glad we’ve kept in touch Summer is so fun And It’s so nice to be in the sun Working all day long Singing to the song I always just want to leave So I can just chill on a summer’s eve
Noise Why are you always so loud? Do you know how to be quiet? Every day you scream and yell Sometimes I just want you to go to hell Do you think people only hear you if you scream? That’s how it can seem You might not realize it But you are loud! You scream and yell with your roommate And get mad when someone comments You should tone it down Or everyone is gonna frown You wake people up You don’t seem to care Sometimes you should just get out of my hair I don’t want to be mean But that’s part of being a teen
Two Poems by Anna Maxwell I used to see you as an incandescent light Intense and passionate as a pulsar star would be And in the Prussian blue night sky, where all stars seems calm I could always know you to be pulsing and alive. But this conception of you, so intricate and untouched as point lace, Has now been ripped in half. Your echoing light has dimmed and your passions seem refrigerated. You have now become asbestos that now lines my white skull The Soul of A Shoe An adequate shoe has two unmitigated qualities, A sole, and a soul. It requires sole. It's a hidden home where your toes are safe To wiggle and tap completely concealed. It's where you feel your feet Begin to sweat, stick and peel When you donâ€™t wear socks. Without sole, you are left barefoot, Subjected to the naked horrors of the ground. Without sole, a foot could step in bubblegum So chewed up, it was empty of any color. What really makes a shoe so beautifully benign, Is its soul. A soul doesn't only lie In the cockpit of your ribcage. It lies in the stains and scuffs Of your sneakers. And it lies in the stench that leaks The moment your foot surfaces the air. You don't buy them with soul. You break them in and bash them out And make funky pink stains on the sides. This soul is stirred up and sprouted In the sticky sole of a shoe.
Horseradish Killed My Faith by Anna Maxwell I have lived my life void of any serious practice of religion for almost seventeen years. Every Easter I put on a floral dress and while my shin sweat begins to stick to the pew, I faintly whisper the words of a hymn as my tone-deaf grandmother belts these songs straight from her belly. Other than watching my Oma make the rest of the congregation wonder if she is singing or choking on something, I have never found faith to be a very paramount force in my life. Even though I have used the church in the past for my own amusement to make fun of the out-of-tune elderly, I still do consider spirituality to be a curious, extraordinary of human nature. I like the idea of finding meaning and reason in a seemingly indifferent universe. Mr. Blaustein sent out an email Monday morning inviting people of all faith to come and join him in the student center on Tuesday night for Seder. My anticipation grew, not only because I was curious about this Jewish tradition, but anything other than creamed spinach from the dining hall sounded appetizing. However, I soon took notice that this wasn't exactly a sloppy turkey Thanksgiving dinner. Seder consists of Hebrew prayers and specific rules before we can even lay eyes on our meal. After the prayers were said and I nodded politely pretending to understand what any of them meant, finally we were given our first bit of food. A small cracker, with what looked like sausage and cheese on it. Starving, I sunk my teeth into it with little bits of cracker crumbs running down my chin. This bite was not as delectable as it looked. When my teeth went through the cracker, and my tongue absorbed the large chunk I had crunched off, I soon realized this wasn't exactly a light cheddar paired with a tender juicy sausage meatball as I thought it was going to be. Instead, a sweet, dark-colored paste made of fruits and nuts filled my palate. The carnivore inside me was devastated. Expecting the cheese helped revive this snack, I bit further down only to find more disappointment. Horseradish. Bitterness and dismay riddled my bones. I tried to swallow it as to not offend anyone in the room, but it was as though my throat had closed in on me. Losing the little dignity I had, I did what had to be done. With my napkin in hand, I shrank in my chair a little and spat out the now mashed up brown ball. No food should ever be so deceitful. I had gone into my first seder so bright-eyed and eagerly ready to learn about this Jewish ceremony. But as the “charoset” was regurgitated from my mouth, so was any sliver left of my faith. If this was religion tasted like, I didn’t want any part of it. I certainly didn’t feel God in the student center that night, however I did find out horseradish is not for human consumption.
Limerick by Eoghan Kelly So, for some reason I am on a boat And i don’t know how it is still afloat, I really don’t know what I am doing And i don’t even know where i’m going But at least i’m not sitting with the goats.
Geibhean by Caitlin Maude, translated from the Irish by Eoghan Kelly
I am an animal
A wild animal
is na teochreasaa
From the tropics
bhfuil cliu agus cailar mo sceimh
My roar is famous and feared
chroithfinn crainnte na coille trath le mo ghair
I shake the trees of the forest with it
ach anois luim sios agus breathnaim tri leath shui
But now I lie down energyless
l ar an gcrann aon raic sin thal
and look into the distance
l tagann na ceadta daoine chuile la
Hundreds come every day to see
a dheanfadh rud ar bith dom
and say they will do anything for me
ach me a ligean amach
but let me out
Life is Like a Bottle of Water by Caleb Dorf Life is like a bottle of water. When someone first gets their full bottle, they pay the most attention to it while it is nice and cold. This is birth. After you’ve had a few sips, you put it down for a while, because you can’t drink too much at once. I prefer to call this the “terrible two’s.” When the water bottle hits the point in its life I’d call “the high school years,” you chug a little more because you might not have anymore for a while as you get distracted by other things. Progressively, a sip or two is had between the “fresh out of college” and “newly married” stages. People pay more attention to their bottles once it’s become a parent, or when you become thirsty again. The bottle is forgotten about again for the most part until it is able to retire, and little sips are taken until there’s very little left, just for one last gulp. But by that point, maybe you’ve forgotten about your bottle and left it behind, or even lost it. Maybe someone else finds it, and drains it, which ultimately finally takes it off life support and recycles it. You don’t even know what happened to that bottle, so make sure people remember what happens to you.
Three Poems by Allie Paster
Flowers Flowers are a true form of beauty Different colors, textures and shapes Roses, Daffodils, Tulips The scent of happiness Different colors, textures and shapes Flowers are a true form of beauty The scent of happiness Different colors, textures and shapes Roses, Daffodils, Tulips The scent of happiness Different colors, textures and shapes Flowers are a true form of beauty The scent of happiness Different colors, textures and shapes Roses, Daffodils, Tulips The scent of happiness Different colors, textures and shapes Flowers are a true form of beauty Roses, Daffodils, Tulips
Hole in the Wall Typical morning My life seemed so boring All of a sudden, THUMP THUMP Crash Dazed and confused I know now why the railing should be used All it took was one missed step And that day I lost all my pep Now all you see is that sad hole in the wall Something to remind me how bad it hurts to fall Those stairs were hard And it hurt like hell When I ran too fast and fell Always remember to go slow Because you will never know How bad it hurts to fall Until there is a hole in your wall
Ode to Squirrels I am sorry, squirrels I have killed so many of you It is not my fault you run into the road And do not look both ways before taking off You make my car go â€œThump, thumpâ€? You give me a feeling after you die Sometimes I give you funerals and cry I am so sorry, squirrels I have hurt you and your family You go one way then sprint another I have probably also killed your sister and your brother
In Amber by Sabryna Coppola
when she was eight she got pushed down, the gravel grinding into her palms, and the sick taste of shame rising high in her throat her book was torn and her eyes burned with tears she would swallow like sand and learn how to push her glasses back up her broken nose and get back up when he was thirteen he came home with black eye, like a purple and green flower blooming around his left cheekbone there was no one home so he put frozen peas on it and sat down in front of the afternoon talk shows, listening to people who had never known a hard hit he slept on a bench that night, kicked out by his wife and her sister, who clicked her tongue as he packed a bag and left he couldn’t feel his toes anymore, and no one answered his phone calls, and he drank out of the paper bag to bring the feeling back to his fingers she collapsed after the gala, drunk on mixers and fake compliments. she crumbled on the bed, one stiletto still dangling from varnished toes the tornado of coworkers, CEOs, and hors d’ouvres spun her around faster until she couldn’t see faces and spat numbers about production value she learns how to hold her breath until she can’t help but get back up again, the air fights to get inside of her and she surrenders every time until getting up isn’t a force of resistance but a daily capitulation and another Advil knocked back with her second green smoothie of the day he gets pushed down over and over, broken boxer, black and blue and trodden sore by heavyweights and his lightweight wife who was “this close” to making him leave until she did. he had already stayed everywhere he could until they wouldn’t take him back. no one wants you after doing time, when its done, its all for nothing she slams the door shut to her red liqueur car and drives until the lights on the side of the road blur in her periphery she thinks of the baby she could have had, the empty blue nursery, covered in little paper butterflies, frozen in time like ancient amber-trapped wishes he can’t sleep so he sits up on the bench and listens to the self-important roar of the cars on the highway, caught up in their dizzying melodrama her car stutters when she sees him and he looks up in distaste at her cherry car but her door unlocks, a 21st century invitation, and his eyebrows smooth and a small smile cracks as his his lip spits open again, blood matching the Ferrari’s paint
BIG MAC by Fernando Thomas de Carranza I see you walking to the restaurant, I’ve never been so nervous You seem so excited, you’ve never looked so happy I see you across the room, you look at me with passion Thoughts pass through your mind, memories come back You start to remember when we first met, when you were just a child All those happy and forgotten days, when we both had no worries You look at me across the counter, you can barely control yourself I have awoken your deepest feelings, the most beautiful feelings It’s hard for you to walk, you don’t come to me So I run across the room, with tears in my eyes You look at me once more, you’ve never looked so happy I decide to sit in front of you, you’ve never been so nervous I don’t know what to say, you don't know what to do You take me gently and carefully into your hands Those sweet, soft hands, the purest hands to ever touch me You hold me gently and move me towards your lips I see you shaking, you smell me, you take a long breath And when you finally stop stressing I’m placed inside your mouth, I’m bitten several times You swallow me with pleasure, but I’ll never be the same I once was a big mac, and I’ll never be the same.
MY DREAM by Fernando Thomas de Carranza I’m coming back from school, I can already smell the food, That strong and powerful smell, My mother made spaghetti, I can tell. I rapidly open the door. The dog welcomes me with love; He just came back from a walk; He jumps on me with those dirty paws. I then go straight into my room I leave my bag and all my books, I go downstairs and see the pasta waiting for me, As I walk towards it, I step on a banana peel and slip; I hit my head against the ground; There’s blood coming out of my mouth. I start falling even deeper, Through an abyss with no limit; I feel anxious and scared, It’s like I’m falling towards my death. 7:45, my alarm goes off, I stand up and put on my clothes, I go downstairs quickly, My mother’s making spaghetti.
Marathon by Tony Zhang I lay down into the night, Knowing I have to do this again. It is not my kryptonite, but I definitely have better matters instead. It makes me anxious, like the sun does to Meursault. I make it precious, Because I canâ€™t afford a bad result. It is harder than not looking back at Eurydice, but the price of finishing is better than a good business. I trust my destiny made by prophecy, and hope the outcome brings me cheerfulness. You ask me what it is? Oh, itâ€™s AP Physics.
Strangers by Bella Byrne I welcome you to my house There isn’t a thing I don’t know Though just strangers in the street There must be blood in the passing snow Please, please come in Turn me inside out Put a pillow under my head Let it lift me up from doubt Tell me all your stories Let me see your eyes Your darkness is blinding Don’t you dare let in the light Soon now you’ll leave me But you will leave your mask behind Now I know nothing Now I’ve thrown away my mind It is all over The end has just begun The sight of you knows no mercy Your soul the darkest part of the sun Will you see me as I am? Not just strangers on the street? I cannot not see your shell It’s your heart now I will meet Do you listen to my voice? Do you understand my words? Or just merely see my skin My gender or my clothes I know nothing now About everyone I meet I am forced to listen To the strangers in the street
An Eerie Lullaby by Cassidy Begley Upon the night of winterâ€™s most wretched whirlwind, I sat in a bath soaking in the warmth, Sheltered from the cold. I sat humming gentle tunes, As if I was meditating but singing a slow hymn, Wishing a newborn baby sleep. I breathed in the smell of my brown sugar candle, Gazing at the flame flicker on and off, As if it was a lighthouse directing a boat away From treacherous rocks that lay inland. The smell of the candle so invigorating, That it was able to bring me back to my earliest days With my grandmother baking cinnamon buns from scratch. I sauntered out of my tub, To a fire where I curled up into my grandfatherâ€™s rocking chair, And swayed back and forth, Like the tide, Listening to the soft screech of his old chair. Feeling a sweet tooth craving, I toasted a marshmallow, And watched it transform from a ball of fresh snow, To a caramelized shade of golden brown. I placed the gooey delight between two pieces of chocolate, And pressed them together until the sugar oozed out. What a delectable delight. I then took shelter on this abominable night, At the fire in my grandfather's chair. I could hear the calls of the wind, And the deathly breeze that hung outside my door. AllI listened to, however, was the crackle of the fire, Which sang me a lullaby to sleep.
Essay by Pere Pericot PATERNAL by Joan Maragall Furient va esclatant l'odi per la terra, regalen sang les colltorçades testes, i cal anâ a les festes amb pit ben esforçat, com a la guerra. A cada esclat mortal -la gent trèmula es gira: la crudeltat que avança, -la por que s'enretira, se van partint el món ... Mirant el fill que mama, -la mare que sospira, el pare arruga el front. Pro l'infant innocent, que deixa, satisfet, la buidada mamella, se mira en ell, -se mira en ella, i riu bàrbarament. PATERNAL Hate explodes throughout the earth with rage, the broken-neck heads drip blood and we must go to parties bravely, as if to war. At every mortal explosion - the tremulous people turn their heads: the cruelty which advances - the fear which retreats, go along dividing the world between themselves ... Looking at his son at the breast, - the mother who sighs, the father furrows his brow. But the innocent infant, who releases, satisfied, the emptied breast, gazes upon him, - gazes upon her, and laughs like a savage. Translated from the Catalan by Enric Bou http://lletra.uoc.edu/
The poem “Paternal” is originally written in Catalan by Joan Maragall. Therefore, the English translation may have some differences from the original version. The poem is clearly structured in two different parts, from the first to the seventh line, and from the eighth to the final line. This poem contains a variety of devices that help give meaning to the whole poem and make it more attractive. The tone plays a big role in this poem. During the first part, the tone is clearly of sadness and disappointment, which is justified because Maragall is talking about the
problems our society is facing; but in the second part of the poem, the tone changes to a more happy and joyful tone, as he is making reference to the innocent infant who is still too young to understand all the struggles human society is having, and therefore, the infant has no motive to be worried about anything. There is also a lot of imagery in this poem, that along with the tone helps give meaning and clearly marks the two different parts of the poem. During the first part of the poem, the imagery is more dark in general, with images like ‘hate explodes,’ ‘broken-neck heads,’ ‘war,’ ‘mortal explosion,’ or the ‘tremulous people,’ showing problems and violence. Meanwhile in the second part of the poem, the imagery changes, just like the tone, with images such as ‘son at the breast,’ ‘innocent infant,’ or the ‘emptied breast,’ showing a more calm and peaceful scenario. In the Catalan version of this poem, there is a clearly structured rhyme scheme; however, the translator chose not to include the rhyme scheme in the English version. This tells us that the rhymes did not play an important role in the original, so the translator chose to focus on the devices that really give shape to the poem, such as tone, imagery, and figures of speech. There is personification in “the broken-neck heads drip blood,” showing violence and the dark side of the poem, which ends making reference to “dividing the world” through violence and terrorism. In conclusion, I would say that Joan Maragall, one of the best poets in the history of Catalan literature, makes good use of tone, imagery and literary devices to give meaning to the poem. The main theme of the poem is that the violence is causing problems and dividing our society, and that the next generation is happy and peaceful because they still don’t understand what’s going on; so maybe we should all be like those innocent children, and live in peace and happiness.
She and I by Katie Broccoli She had fire in her eyes and passion in her heart While giving it her all and never giving up. Like MLK, she has a dream, And will not stop until she accomplishes it. She will grow from the lows and enjoy the highs. Even when she thinks she canâ€™t, she will, Like The Little Engine That Could. No matter what happens, She will enjoy the ride. No holding back, except for the urge of quitting When things get hard and seem impossible. Her goals in life seem so far away, But that is no reason to not try. Just like Langston Hughes asks, What will happen if this dream of hers is deferred? Even though this world is a challenge like Harlem She will never know, Because this girl will reach her dreams. She has already started and wonâ€™t be finished for a while, And yes, I am ready for the challenge.
Power of Sounds by Joey Lin Step by step walking into a cave, The sound of the footfalls Echoes around the atmosphere. A stream of spring Wells out from the gaps of rocks. The murmur of the spring harps by the weedy grass. Quietly nourishes my heart, Just like the clear spring that Moistens the dry land. Oh listen! Thereâ€™s the sound of the windmill, Slowly blows the air From here to there. There comes the whisper of the wind, With the falling And rustling of leaves, Falls onto the ground gracefully. Oh look! Flowers and grass are dancing In the gentle breeze. Fixed by this beautiful concert that Governs my heart, The power of sounds gradually comes into existence. Be generous and patient with nature, You will also encounter your own chance To feel the power of sounds.
Human by Maddie Aitken Seen from above, the sky is deep. Seen from above, the human is deep. We look at people every day, but do we ever really see them? We look at people. We judge people. We talk about people. We make opinions about people. But do we really know them? The human is deep. It is full, it is hidden, it is disguised, it is just trying to stay alive. The human is just trying to continue living, to make it through another day, to just keep breathing. Are any of us really that different? Maybe we should learn to tolerate each other, to accept each other, to love each other. After all, we’re only human. The first two lines of this poem are from the poem “A Downward Look” by James Merrill.
Only You by Ele Schickler You said it was fine You said we would be alright You said that you would fight for me But you didn’t you let me down and now I pick up the pieces Like a jigsaw puzzle I fell apart Weeping on the floor A stream of tears in my eyes You were still there In that moment I abhorred you and your hideous face and I wanted to run, but where? I can’t escape I can’t hide you loom in my anger and in my pain You see my every move I want you gone. The sun shone brightly and you made my blood boil In a fit of rage, I pulled the trigger. One, and done the shotgun shell hit the floor, Pinging loudly inside the door As the sound of liquid filled my ears, The blood trickled in a stream out the side of your head And I realized you were dead. And now, you’re gone forever. But as soon as you left so did I, My spirit was lifted to the Lord And as was yours We rose up together We saw the others weep I cried softly in my arms whimpering only for a moment Until, I realized, that wasn't over I had to believe in my true self. I had to rewind the time. But I couldn’t now, as you lie dead So do I As your family mourns your death So do I. I was only your shadow
I was only your imagination I was only you. But now we are both dead Shot in the head. In the hot July sun. The blood splatter leaves a mark forever on my heart. I miss you, and I love you.
Shoes by Eli Dorf My mother says my shoes are terrible, but I beg to differ. I personally think they were bearable, but then again, she was the sniffer. When I bought them they started out white but as time went on, their color faded out. My mother tried her best to be polite, But eventually she started to pout. In a few months I bore holes in the inserts, and the shoelaces started to fall apart. My brother said the stench reminded him of an old sweatshirt. I prefer to call it a work of olfactory art. I wore those shoes until the stitches snapped, and until the eyelets were dangling by a thread. Without those shoes I felt enrapt. My shoes were, because of my mother, forever kidnapped.
Based on â€œMy Shoesâ€? by Charles Simic
Haiku by Eli Dorf Lemonade Icy and cold, it Looks so refreshing on such A hot, blazing day.
Eagle The gentle giant, Soaring through the cloudy air And landing with grace. Autumn The red leaves flying Through the fine, crisp autumn air Floating to the ground.
Clock by Ana GabarrĂł I am round and clear. I indicate what guides your day. My size is undefined, I own more than a mask. Boundless would define my activeness. Eyes interpret me a lot. You could say I am unkindThe judge of momentâ€™s largeness. Whenever entertainment is on you my speed will go up, But if it is not, I will become a turtle in your race. Impatience will get us together again and again. Now I am in a city. A businessman stares at me. Assimilating my message that will change his emotion. I am relevant to him, but he does not realize.
The Gray Afternoon by Ana GabarrĂł The most calm melody Was getting through my ears, And simultaneously My face felt sliding tears. A colorful landscape Was perturbing my picture, My spirit was leaden Felt like mistaken mixture. The fresh scent was not big But I can still remember The cold bench making me Feel like it was December. The popcorn looked at me Temptationâ€Ś could it delight? Yes it could, I promise My bitter afternoon climbed.
Two poems by Brent Young Lacrosse Stick The top of the stick has an odd shape, connected to a long piece of composite or metal. The shaft of the stick is all covered in tape, the back of the mesh flowing out like a petal. The head of the stick is the color of white, nothing too outrageous like back in the 6th grade. The look of the stick is a magnificent sight, Hoping the white of the mesh does not fade. The shaft is in total 30 inches, A peculiar length for a sport people say is fake. The ends of the shooting strings fraying on the fringes, Wishing that the stick will never break. The slick feeling of the silver metal shaft in your hands, While all of the fans are cheering up in the stands.
Ode to Lacrosse Oh lacrosse! how I love to play the sport The sweet sensation of stepping on the grass Running alongside my friends during warm ups Sweat starting to drip down our backs as we pick up the pace Everyone is sharing jokes to lighten the mood, Until Coach tells us the stop and focus in on the game This is what we live for, to play lax with our bros We get into to line drills feeling nervous about the game But we do not mind because we are playing the creator's game Right before the first whistle our team captains try to get us going I feel a rush of energy surge through my body Oh Lacrosse! how I love to play the sport
A Book by Belle Crocco
I fall open, and you fell in. I am opened, and my thousands and thousands of words run free into the wild They keep on running towards you and don’t stop. I am full of wonderful places and people of every kind I am the gate to your happy place, always around and full of new surprises. My pages are flipped, one by one as I glow in your eyes. I see my reflection in your tears, while telling you a sad story. I smell your breath as you laugh when I cheer you up with something funny. I begin to like you. We meet almost everyday, usually around night when it’s dark I can’t see much, only a flash of light and your eyes moving rapidly, reading me. We spend all of summer together. You let my pages fly, each one individually feeling free The time feels limitless. Soon enough my pages fly by, One by one faster and faster. The end is coming I feel it near, I see you laugh, cry, smile and bite your nails anxiously one last time. I say my goodbyes, folding back into one I only see darkness, my words clumping up together I close, and hope to see you sometime again. Thank you for letting my words run free.
Spring Rain by Belle Crocco We open the door and run outside, grinning from ear to ear. We play outside in the warm spring rain; our happy place. “Come dance with me,” you say, Grabbing my hand and and spinning me. We dance and laugh as if we are the only two people in the world. The warm spring rain drizzles down your rosy cheeks, And raindrops rest on your eyelashes; dripping down your face everytime you blink. We run down the street splashing in every puddle we see, My clothes, soaking wet. My hair is knotted and dripping, but nothing can stop me from smiling. We dance and sing in the splashing rain, The neighborhood smelling of fresh grass and wet spring flowers. We dance in the rain for hours, until it’s time for you to go. As you leave, you splash in the puddles one last time, dancing your way back home. I stay outside in the warm spring rain, And can hear your beautiful laughter in the distance for hours.
Alarm Clock by Ali Noeding You wake me up in the morning, Most times way too early. You are the last thing I think about before I shut the lights out. You are the first thing I hear when my eyes float open to your sweet but bitter tune. You are the light in my dark room, But the disruption of peace at the same time. I don’t think I’ll ever exactly understand our relationship, We have our ups and downs. You put me through pain sometimes, but you’re the reason that I get up in the morning. You pester me and when I hit your button to let me snooze, You come back within a few minutes to get me out of bed. Without you, I might miss out on the beauty of the sunrise, Or eating breakfast with my family, And taking a moment to look out the window and see the life happening in the world. I hate you, But I also love you. So I guess you could say that we have a love-hate relationship.
Boots by Ali Noeding The mud comes off the ground, Onto my boots, Which takes a piece of each place they’ve been, For my boots to hold onto. I know that my boots will not let go. They’re not easy to clean. They are heavy.
My boots leave identical prints on the ground after each step I take, So people know where I’ve been. I don’t need a biography, You can read my boots. The mud, the rainwater, and the gum say it all. My boots follow me wherever I go.
My boots leave a path for others to follow. One day, The tracks will fade. A new set will create a new track. I am not the only person with boots. Everyone has a unique pair of boots. Designer boots, Bean boots, work boots, You name it!
Your boots are your storybook. Your boots carry your past for you, So your shoulders don’t hurt. And when you take your boots off, They will soon be tailored for another, Who will leave footprints on Earth On a different path than you.
Poems by Kyle Searles Haikus
Please hit me the ball I need not wait anymore Try and get by me
Watching the pitcher As he delivers the ball I crush a home run
Wide eighty set hike Call the cadence for the spike Give the ball to Mike
Tackle a Billy He will make you look silly Doodly Dilly
Watch him shoot the three When he scores watch him celly Try and play some D
Thinking about life I have come to realize Basketball is life
Missing Football Football, the things that you used to do to me You twisted and turned my body in all ways possible You broke numerous bones on my body And you even made me get surgery But oh football how I miss you so much From Throwing touchdown passes To throwing interceptions I miss the emotions that you used to bring to me Even when playing eight man flag football I enjoyed you just as much Playing football since such a young age You have made a huge impact on my life I do not know where I would be without you today I used to dedicate the last month of my summer to you Missing out on parties and other occasions Just so that we could be together I would not give up the world for you football Maybe one day we can reunite in a menâ€™s league But even if this never were to happen I want you to know how much I miss you
Hope at Belleau Wood by Michael Kassis The lights flashed above our heads, as we huddled close together in the mud. We waited as we shook, to the rattle of the guns. Some men reduced to boys now cry out for mom listening for hope, which some thought would never come. But for those tested by battle, we strained our ears to hear. To hear the sound we believed, believed would save the Corp. we listened as we waited, as the Hunâ€™s fire rained all around us, thirsty to take more. Then a lucky bloke heard, the sound we had yearned. He cried out above the gunfire, and all his comrades turned. For he had heard the sounds of hope, the sounds that would stop Hellâ€™s burn Because the Marines had come.
Boots by Michael Kassis As clean as a whistle we were, my brother and I. We waited in the hands of the soldier, nervous about the inspection. As he fiddled with my laces, the Sergeant called him to attention. He presented us like a present, which the Sergeant took with glee, and nodded and moved on. Now we’re taken everywhere, through the barrenness and sand of a far off foreign land. A day before our planned return, we were driving through the sand, when an explosion rocked the truck, ripping my brother from me. The feet that wore us didn’t move, when another called the soldier’s name. They pulled us from the truck, and removed us from his feet. So he may wear a new pair, while we were left forgotten.
Poems by Brendon Vejseli A Source for Laughter Running is funny When you are walking downtown Running is funny
Birds You are on a path Trying to soar through the skies When you fall, you learn
Marriage When you are married You think your life is over But it starts anew
Place I think of a place This place is full of beauty I want to be there
Party If you are playing Then you are hanging with me Letâ€™s have a party
Ghosts Can I be a ghost? Even living by the coast? Can I be a ghost?
Sea The ocean is large Containing lots of creatures How large is the sea?
Bee Tree You sting me like a bee Way, way far up in a tree Is it always me?
School High school can be rough Bullies can be everywhere Know you have a voice
Graduation The end of the year Seniors leave and start new lives This time is the best
Turtles I am a turtle My first spirit animal I swim gracefully
Ultimate We stand in a line One of us throws the disc and Then the time stands still
Theater When I take my script There are lots of lines to know Lots of lines to know
You for Me You for me were a perfect stranger I never even imagined you in my life. I passed the time and I talked to you, And some of you knew. Then you were the person Who understood me And much of your life with mine coincided. You came to be the one I identified myself with best, To whom I presented myself with my "being." Now I discover that I did not know you. Yes, again you are unknown, because In the distance I have realized that A friend is never finished knowing, Because there will always be something of him that surprises me, There will always be something new to share. You will always be for me Something new to discover.
Poem by Vinnie Crea All American dream Never truly fulfills what it seems White picket fences or riding in a drop top swerving through the section Jealousy, greed, no direction Life can never be fully lived without deception All American man Working until the bell rings to pack up and scram Craving relaxation Time doesn’t adjust to those who never made it Fake it till you make it Lord knows your true expectation Grinding gears for what may appear The economy hasn’t picked back up And most likely won’t for several more years Taxes, divorce, hard labor This is how you are re-paid for putting out for 20 years Achieving the most high Most struggle from the depths to get by
It’s Not You, It’s Me by Paige Moffat Old and decrepit you are, passed your prime. Dirty and tarnished by the years, you sit in the corner. In the corner of my closet, Once you were my favorite pair, I looked at you both angelically. Through thick and thin. my beloved pair you kept me warm, and safe from very real threats. Like splinters and pebbles, between my toes. Oh when the days were so simple then, pebbles were the worst of my worries. Then you, my wild pink pair of converse were acceptable. Now you sit on your perch, and stare at me, Reminding me how life wasn’t always this way, Boring. Instead it was filled with boat shoes and loafers. You never changed; it was me, not you.
Take a Break by Jean Fang The sun Hanging up in the sky, The birds Chirping melodiously on the trees, The passers-by walk past each other, With a cup of hot drinks on one hand, And a briefcase on the other, Just starting a busy day. Faces full with anxieties, Walk on the streets quickly, Without looking up, Who knows they might miss, A small angel on the top of everyoneâ€™s head, Blessing us to have a good day? At night, The moon Is never alone because of the stars, The insect chorus Is the sound of summer, The busy streets start to quiet down, It is the time to sleep, To end this busy day with a restful sleep. The wind breezes outside the window, Telling the busy people, Itâ€™s time to take a break, Enjoy all those little moment of your life, Get ready to start a new day, With a grateful heart.
Bloody Travellers by Michael Kassis Travelling, travelling, travelling they went, Through brush and brackets tearing they did. Blood on their hands and face, Sticking like sap to a child's body. Their throats were dry and lacked the courage the courage and ability to find words, Like a riderless horse after a battle. They ran and ran to the distant sound of a snare drum, Tumbling and jumping over roots and rocks, As if the apaches were behind them. Like spitballs in a rowdy classroom bullets whizzed by, As heartbeats pounded to the sound of the snare drum. Travelling, travelling, travelling they went, Until they made sure the ground was shimmering with red. The Bloody Travellers had come.
Poem by Jack Kennedy
Golf Striped, down the middle of the fairway, par secured Bombed over the big pine, followed up a shank, par not secured My caddy eloquently tells me to lay up, but that's just not my game Followed up with a birdie, and Iâ€™m even on the day The fifth, the toughest on the course, I hit a bomb 300 yards down the middle Then promptly miss a putt to stay at even on the day Patience is a virtue on the golf course Keeping that in mind I need to stay relaxed, or this round can get out of control The ninth hole comes to a close, I am three over par, time to get focused The back starts off with a snap hook, not what I had in mind But the scenery keeps me calm, I stroll across the bridge up to the green and stop, focusing on the round, I take in the rolling hills and the birds chirping, the smells of barbeque and the feel of the course I am in perfect peace with myself and my surroundings My mind wanders as I step up on the 18th tee One more smack for Jack Kennedy, 21st century transcendentalist
dear me by Clare Costello dear future me, i have a lot of questions. how are you? no, no-not that. did you go to college? did you get into college? if not, i’m really sorry, that’s my fault. i have a really bad problem with motivation, but then again, you know that already. future me, are you still gay? who am i kidding, of course you’re still gay. are you happy? i mean really. are you happy with yourself and what you’ve done? what have you done? have you changed the world, or at least seen it? have you driven around the country with nothing but your guitar, a friend or two, a little bit of gas money, and your piece of crap car? that rhyme was an accident, i promise this isn’t that kind of poem. how many dogs do you have? a lot, i hope. is everything ok? let me know. i don’t know if i still need to tell you this, but keep your head high.
the lows are only temporary. have hope, or something. sincerely, me dear present me, i have a few questions. how are you? ...don’t answer that. what is wrong with you? please, for the love of god DO YOUR HOMEWORK. it’s not that hard, i promise. anyway, you’re standing up here talking to yourself. that’s weird. you-i-we need to work on a few things. first and foremost: stop apologizing for everything. you are you and you are a person and you are allowed to exist, unapologetically. second, you are allowed to ask for help. you are allowed to need things. sometimes there are just too many things to juggle, sometimes you run out of hands, that’s ok. you don’t have to be sorry for being a person and needing things. you are allowed to just be. keep your head high. the lows are only temporary. have hope, or something.
sincerely, me dear past me, i have a few questions. they’re not for me, i know the answers. they’re for you. use them. you’re thirteen. you’re dating that boy you’ve liked for months! and his twin sister, who you were friends with first, isn’t even weirded out. life is great. your grades are great and you’re on your way. you don’t know where, but you’re on your way regardless. how are you? think about it. i didn’t. really take the time to think about how you’re feeling. later, it’ll help. now you’re done with seventh grade. what a relief! summer will blow by fast as usual, and eighth grade will start that fall. weeks will pass quickly. don’t let them. they’re good weeks. because october will come and your best friend will try to kill herself and you’ll be the one who calls the police. she’ll be ok, she’ll thank you. but you will worry. you still worry.
because december will come and that boy you’re dating, his dad will die unexpectedly a week before christmas. it will destroy him. because january and february will come and he’ll start to recover, slowly, but something will change. you won’t really talk anymore. you’ll know it’s just middle school, and the chances of finding your one true love in your seventh grade pre-algebra class are pretty slim, but it was still nice. because march will come, and you will break up the day before your thirteen month anniversary. it’s gonna suck, but you’ll still be friends, kind of. you even think that he might be gay. he just cared way too much about the way he dressed. but, you know, it’s ok. you don’t know this yet, but you’re kind of gay too. your friends will confide in you, and you, caring almost to a fault, will carry the weight on your own shoulders. one of them will even tell you that she remembers when you were happier and that now, you just seem sad. because june will come, and your best friend who you called the police on will tell you she likes you. you’ll tell her you’re straight. because the summer will come, and you’ll learn how to hurt yourself
and people will find out. they won’t do anything. you’ll stop for a while. but not for long. because the next year will happen fast, and then you’ll be at a new school. because another october will come. and another december. and another january, february, march, june, and more after that, and you’ll heal. how are you? think about it. i didn’t. think about who you are, who you’ll be. you don’t know yet. i don’t know yet. but your future is waiting. and i don’t want to ruin the surprise or anything, but from where i’m standing, it looks like a lot of smartfood popcorn, some sports you thought you’d never try, and a pretty darn great group of friends who (you hope) love you. keep your head high. the lows are only temporary. have hope, or something. sincerely, me.
Essay by Anh Pham Eventual Fulfillment In her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston depicts Janie’s intense desire for true love along with the arduous and prolonged journey that she undergoes to achieve it. Along the way, she fails to find affection with Logan Killicks and to stand against Joe Starks’s restraints. And even though Janie eventually gets to experience genuine love and live a happy life with Tea Cake, it is the independence and experience gained from facing hardship that truly brings her serenity. Unlike Janie’s two former husbands, Tea Cake stands out as a partner who perceives her as an equal and respects her opinion. Her first spouse, Logan Killicks, sees Janie as nothing more than an insignificant presence running errands, whose space is confined to a mere kitchen. After almost a year of marriage, he gets tired of chopping the woods by himself and compares her to his previous wife, who would help out by “[grabbing] dat ax and [slinging] chips lak uh man” (26). Similarly, Joe Starks, whom Janie runs off to when leaving Logan, actively restricts her activities and interests because of her place as the mayor’s wife. He forces her to stay in the store all day and forbids her participation in the town’s business while making sure that “her hair [is] NOT going to show” in public (55). Janie’s first exchange with Tea Cake, however, immediately proves his respect for her as he unhesitatingly shows her how to play checkers. Janie “[finds] herself glowing inside” playing the game as the guest “[wants] her to play” and “[thinks] it natural for her to play” (96). Moving to the Everglades, the newly-wed couple plays balanced roles in sustaining their lives. Janie is “ready to pick beans along with Tea Cake” in the muck, and “Tea Cake would help get supper afterwards” (133). For the first time, Janie is under no constraint. Consequently, the ideal life and refreshing freedom in the Everglades provide Janie with the happiest years of her life. Previously, the unfortunate woman had always been suffocated and confined by people around her. At first, the marriage with Logan that Janie’s grandmother sets out leaves her a life without love. The young girl “[hates] her grandmother” because she “tie [the horizon] about her granddaughter’s neck tight enough to choke her” (89). Afterwards, Janie’s escape with Joe to Eatonville, despite her expectations, barely improves her restrained circumstances. Hindered from enjoying the town’s liveliness, she feels “de walls creepin’ up on me and squeezin’ all de life outa me” (112). Upon meeting Tea Cake, however, Janie gets to live a paradisiacal life for the first time in the Everglades. People play the same games and “[hold] big arguments here” just like in Eatonville. The difference is that she “could listen and laugh and even talk some herself if she wanted to” (134). The “self-crushing love” Janie feels along with the freedom to join her husband and fellow workers in their joyful nights on the porch leave her delighted and content (128). Ultimately, Janie once again suffers cruel fate as she is forced to end Tea Cake’s life. Nonetheless, though the happy days have passed, the turbulent journey has given her valuable experience and a strong sense of self-reliance. Married three times, Janie has seemingly experienced all that life has to offer. She is faced with Logan’s apathy, Joe’s suppression and discrimination, and in the end, she is immersed in euphoria with Tea Cake. The world has also hardened Janie and forged her into a self-sufficient woman. Living with Logan, she learns to
“talk some and leave some” and hide her true thoughts (76). Tea Cake, who believes that Janie’s gender does not limit her capability, teaches her to work in the muck and “handle shootin’ tools” (130). Ironically, in her attempt to protect herself from her berserk husband, Janie ends up killing Tea Cake with her rifle. Having returned to Eatonville, the forty-year-old woman, now adept and capable, shares with her friend Pheoby the life lessons that she has learned: everybody “got tuh go tuh God” and “find out about livin’ fuh theyselves” (192). With her life fulfilled, she feels at peace being back in her old town. Despite the difficulties in her life, Janie ultimately succeeds in finding true love and more importantly, her own voice. She has lived her life to its fullest potential and feels no regret in the end. Through the novel, Zora Neale Hurston effectively portrays the unjust world that opposes women of black heritage while she simultaneously reflects the hardships that her community has to suffer.
Abecedary by Cordelia Schoen Amsterdam I went to Amsterdam for vacation about two summers ago. It was smelly and dirty. Everywhere I turned there seemed to be a coffee shop selling weed. I realized how different the country was from any other place I’d ever been to.
Brevity I don’t like to write a lot for papers and homework. I seem to write the amount that I need to in order to get the assignment done and then I stop.
Chester Chester is the name of my cat. She has a boy's name because my aunt could not tell if she was a girl or a boy, so she just picked a random name and hoped that the name matched its gender.
Difficult I have learned that making an abecedary is not the easiest thing to do. At first you think of a lot of ideas but then you realize how many letters there are in the alphabet and it gets more difficult to think of a word for every single letter.
Ear An ear is the only thing that I can think of for e. I do have two ears so this word does work for my abecedary.
Friday I’m on RA duty in Van Sinderen on Friday nights. Most of the time it’s quiet and I don’t have to do much but check in people at 8 and 10. The only thing that I don’t like about Friday dorm duty is that the seniors can check in between 10-10:30 so I need to sit in the common room waiting for every person to walk through the door. By the end I am always exhausted and grumpy.
Gettysburg My favorite college, which is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere; yet it has service, unlike Washington Connecticut. I’m going here in 2018 for college after a gap year.
Hamster I had a dwarf hamster once, but I think I scared it to death. Once my mom was watching it while I was cleaning its cage. She had put my hamster in its little ball, yet the top fell off and so my hamster ran away and hid under a dresser for about an hour.
Iphone The only phone that I have ever owned. Androids and other phones confuse me with their different home buttons and set ups. For example Anh has some fake button at the bottom of his phone that is only a finger scanner not an actual home. Therefore I will stick to iphones because they don’t confuse me.
Jane My middle name is Jane. I’m pretty sure it was also my grandmother’s middle name but I’m not positive about that. Whenever someone asks me what my middle name is I tend to ignore them and not say anything. From there the person guesses very odd and unusual names because they think it is a name that I would be embarrassed about.
Knife Once when I was about thirteen my cousin chased me around her house with a knife. So, I proceeded to hide in her bathroom. She then tried to unlock the door with a spatula. Another time that she terrified me with knives is when she brought three down into a tiny forest type place near her house. She then started to throw knives into a tree and I was slightly terrified.
Lazy When I’m in my room, I am an extremely lazy person. Cheryl, my roommate, gets locked in our bathroom sometimes because the door is messed up, yet I do not get up to help her until she has tried to turn the handle about fifteen times.
Michigan The state that I did a project on in third grade. All I remember about the project is that the capital is Detroit and a lot of cars used to be manufactured there before its economy died.
Maine I go to Maine every summer for either a week or a month, depending on our other plans and where we are staying. Last summer I stayed in Wells for about one week, yet I usually stay in Boothbay Harbor on an island for about one month.
Mets My favorite Major League Baseball Team. I went to three of their spring training games this spring break and even though they lost all three itâ€™s okay because none of them counted. It also rained during two of the three games that I attended and I learned that many people will not sit through the rain and get soaked while watching sports.
Needles I have a big fear of needles. Once my doctor asked if medical students could observe me receiving a shot and I straight up said no without even thinking about it for more than a second.
Ocean Iâ€™m terrified of videos under the water and sharks and many other sea creatures. The ocean just looks scary to me and I never enjoy having to go to the beach because of it.
Pitbull When I was about ten, I had a neighbor who owned a pitbull. One day the pitbull was outside and decided to chase me around my yard which resulted in me being terrified of pitbulls.
Procrastination I procrastinate with all of my homework and I do not start anything until the day before it is due unless it is a big project that I would not finish in time.
Penguin Song Kim calls me a penguin. I’m not exactly sure why. I think she’s told me before, but I’ve obviously forgotten. Oh well!
Quiet I am quiet during classes because I prefer to listen to what others have to say and not voice my opinion. I know my participation grades suffer because of it but I don’t really mind anymore.
Ridgefield Academy My old preschool and middle school where I went to school my whole life before attending The Gunnery.
Softball The only sport that I can even partly succeed at without feeling like I’m dying. I played from sixth to eighth grade and then started again last spring.
Sleep I love to sleep. Whenever I’m home my mom doesn’t let me sleep as long as I want to which makes me annoyed. So, I proceed to ignore her and sleep another hour. After that hour, she returns to my room annoyed. I am then forced to get up or she gets angry and storms off. Most of the time, sleep is worth it though.
Truck I drive a green Ford Ranger and when I drive above 60 mph it starts to shake a little. I think I need to add air to the tires but I never remember to do that before going somewhere.
Undertow The ocean's undertow is evil and way too strong. I’ve been pulled under it a number of times and every time was slightly terrifying.
Vespoli A brand that I really don’t like because it reminds me of Crew and how painful the sport is and how doing Crew was a mistake.
Washington Depot Where The Gunnery is located in Connecticut. It is a tiny and expensive town in the middle of nowhere. When I was a freshman there was almost no service in the town but now there is at least service going downtown from The Gunnery.
Xerus This subfamily Xerus contains very cute squirrels in Africa that are much better than the squirrels in the United States. Squirrels donâ€™t have anything to do with my life, but on Easter I learned that they do not have squirrels in Australia. I learned this because I met an Australian who became very excited whenever she saw a squirrel around.
Yoenis Cespedes My favorite mlb player who plays for the Mets. The Mets count on his home runs in order to win games. Last year his batting average was about a .280 and he helped out the team a lot especially after many important player got injured.
Zero Point Club I was part of this club for the first two years of high school until I started to accumulate points. Most of my points first came in for dress code points like shoes, but this year most of them are because I forget to sign in.
John Muir by Morgan Welles
I want to tell you About the experience I had, Surrounded by the things I love, godâ€™s best gift. In the Sierra Nevadas I found an unknown mountain temple, All alone stood the most beautiful sight known to man, A valley more beautiful than man itself, More stunning than any other place I had laid my eyes on. This is Hetch Hetchy Valley of the Sierra Nevadas. Grand Valley walls glow with life, winds howl against the walls, Hetch Hetchy water is the purest, wholly unpolluted, And shall remain unpolluted as long as I live. As clean as the sky itself, Untouched, alive.
In the Valley of Welles by Morgan Welles Today, as I took a walk through The valley of Welles, such A beauty that lies within The rocks, trails, and the falls. There is a place where Clear blue skies embrace Where the trees are high And are rooted within rocks. As I lift my head up to The sun that dries my tears, That falls from my eyes, there Is a breeze among the redwoods. In the early morning as I Follow the longest trails, Keeping my steps steady and strong Mountains, blue skies, animals, white snow. Welles with many trails and sceneries Of beauty, hikes, through John Muir and Glacier Mountains, peaceful feelings Here In the valley of Welles.
The Beach by Keelan Ulnick I put my feet in the warm sand, take a deep breath and smell the saltwater and seaweed. I hear the sounds of the waves crashing and the excitement from the people as a big wave comes crashing through the crowds. I run down into the bright blue water that cools my body down from the scorching summer sun. As my body gets deeper and deeper in the water the current becomes stronger and stronger. Then a wave comes and crashes over my head. I look into the wave and then drive under. When I go under I feel the water trying to suck me back but I try to swim away with all of my strength. As I get past the wave I feel it let go of me and shoot me up to the surface where I can take a deep breath of the salty air again. As I wait outside where the waves do not crash I feel the current of the water on my feet trying to take me north with the summer current. I look off into the horizon and see a set of four waves coming my way. I paddle out a little further and then begin to turn my board around and try to catch the wave. As I paddle for the wave all I feel is my momentum going towards shore until all of a sudden I feel a current bring me away from the beach and I begin to rise as I keep paddling this current that is sucking me back that releases as I get to the top of the wave. I take three more paddles then I begin to stand up and let the wave take me down the face and I ride the wave all the way back to shore feeling excited and relieved. And with all the energy I have gained, I paddle back out to do it again.
Two poems by Keelan Ulnick
I show up to school excited but sad A new journey awaits and lies ahead I unpack my bags and get use to my pad I make many new friends and memories that I once wish I had I visit new places my mind has never been I wake up the next morning my bags already packed I leave feeling happy but much more sad I say goodbye to my friends I once never had Now the memories are all Iâ€™ll ever have
I tie the boot tight to my foot I strap the gear tight to my bones I strap my helmet and put on my gloves I take a step onto the ice I feel the weight drop off my back I feel weightless as I glide My gear no longer makes me feel robotic Everything feels in sync I feel my skates dig into the ice Each stride I go faster and faster
White Elephants by Aiden Cooke The brain is a complex contraption, Able to control your anatomy with ease. Itâ€™s our most useful adaption. When it first appeared it spread like a disease. Those able to think would survive, Surpassing those lacking. They were sure to be outlasting With their new organ they would thrive. Nowadays, we take it for granted, But I will tell you something, and I will be quite candid: You are a brain controlling a skeletal structure, Nothing more, nothing less. I do not mean to depress. Our bodies are a beautiful architecture, Keeping us alive with its carbon cycles, Keeping track of all our vitals, But life only get complicated If you fill them with emotion. These complications could very quickly become ill-fated, But the brains would keep us in motion, Stopping at no notion. If these nerve hives are filled with hatred, Dark outcomes are awaited. These perceptions would be met with echoes. Oh, this did not start with the pharaohs; It lies more in our nature As it is simply human behavior. But what does this brain bring us? A way to see that we are scirrhous. The brain has destroyed our Prussian blue earth; Resources are becoming dearth. We only take When we absolutely need to give. It is what I forsake, If we want to live.
Ruined by Rachel Cohen Do you want to know why I'm so angry at my eating disorder? Because I used to enjoy food. I used to relish the taste of relish. I savored savory foods. I rejoiced in sweets. But now Cookies taste like sugar and regret. Pizza is a battle one bite at a time, each one sticking to my thighs. Even carrots don't go untouched by my cognitive distortions, warping them into sweet sticks that burn like a fire as I chew them shakily, hyperaware of the fact that I'm ingesting "too many" calories. My favorite foods, ruined. My brain has enclosed them in a bitter-tasting cage that hits my tongue every time I force myself to take a bite. The voices in my head heckle me, daring me to take one more calorie-laden bite, warning me that it'll only go to my thick thighs or sad-looking stomach or abhorrent arms or chubby cheeks.
The joy that used to come with eating has been replaced with fear. A phobia of the very thing I need for survival. My brain is destroying my body, punishing myself for not being pretty enough. My friend encourages me to "sacrifice food for my stomach acid to claim victim", hoping it might make me want to eat. No amount of imagining the destruction of food could trump my inherent need to whittle myself down to the bone. My dad asked me if I wanted to end up like those walking skeleton girls who still think they're overweight. I was too scared to tell him that I do. It's preferential to be on the brink of death, looking like it, feeling like it than to be the fat slob who greets me every time I pass a mirror. And I'm scared. Goddamnit, I'm scared. I don't control the thoughts, the impulses, the urges. They just come. And when they do, if I'm not prepared, they can smack me down in a second, forcing my head over the toilet, fingers jammed down my throat, begging my body to relinquish the victims I tried so hard to drown in my stomach acid. Each day,
each meal is a battle that I'm not equipped to fight. But I will try anyway with the hope that someday my favorite foods won't be ruined anymore.
Three Poems by Song Kim Bigger than every mountain combined Possesses the most courageous heart Beautiful like a flower that blooms in spring Our lord Jesus, Maryâ€™s Son You are full of sweetness You are full of forgiveness Jesus, in his name we grow No one shall suffer In his arms, thou shall not be harmed He is your sanctuary, He is your father In his arms, thou shall reach heaven Give him your faith Give him all you have Until his kingdom comes Until we meet again, We shall wait We shall not fall into temptation He will light your world He will guide you You are safe in his arms
Ode to a pine tree Oh, pine tree! So fresh and so cool You never perish You stand still all seasons You endure all that snow in the winter Oh! Glorious pine tree Come hither in my backyard And protect our family We will provide you your home Oh! Glorious pine tree
Beauty in disguise (abecedarian) Among those beautiful women in the world Becca was the prettiest of all Calmly walking out of the room under the Dimming light Early night was not meant for her Friday night she goes out Gently gently, with soft steps Hush! Do not speak Ignore what you see now Judgement can be kept in your mind now Killer! they scream Liar! they shout Murderer! they shriek Night shall be mine Odor of blood, I Paint myself in the disguise of my beauty Quick, run away from me, or Race between you and me begins Scatter away now, Tonight I am not who I am Ugly? Thatâ€™s not meant for me Voila! There you are Wake up from your sweet dreams X-mas, itâ€™s today You can not escape Zeal is mine now
Three Poems by Dana Ross
*** I came to this school When I was 16 It’s a solid age For you to know who you generally are Well, it wasn't for me Yes, I knew I was a girl Who is fairly mature for her age Who likes studying Who enjoys dancing And so many other things But then two years after I let a "risky" part of me take over Last year I wrote on Lindsey’s board A quote That I firmly believed in at the time It went, “Just don't let your emotions overpower your intelligence.” Well look at me now I became a stronger person Who never allows her intelligence not allow her to do something she wants High school is the time to experiment To take risks To do what you believe in And all of that Well for me It started off With an “I like you” And then a little bit of Adele’s "Hello" lyrics And then a little bit of a lot of talking till 2 am when the wifi shut off
And then FaceTime that never happened Because “I don't do FaceTime” It started with an "I like you" To a girl. And my whole life was ruined It was not “ruined” It was just picked up Turned around a bunch of times And dropped To say the least I was confused I sat down by my friend And my first words were “Hey” “I think I made a mistake” “But I am really happy about it” “I am kind of living my life the way I should right now” “Living” is such an unexplained term We make anything we want out of it And I suppose “redefining” myself was not a bad thing Confusing Messy Terrifying But in no way bad And my sexuality remains just a small part of me But you know that stupid question “What would tell your 12-year-old self” And you know I finally found an answer And I am gonna quote Rachel on this “f*$! it. it will be okay.”
*** When you left For the 5th time Like really left The scary “left” When… You know When I watched you not just choose the three polos you were gonna take with you But when I watched you take the entire stack and throw all of them in you bag When you left For the 5th time I didn’t cry And that scared me I didn’t mind also And that scared me even more Today I realized I had learnt to protect myself From the things I have no control over That hurt me a lot [Like you] I had learnt how to take care of myself I’ve mastered taking care of myself I finally figured out what “taking care” means And beside the three years of therapy It was upon me to learn how to do it To preserver in order to save myself To learn to love myself And if this was ever to be read out loud I would say the following: And today I’m standing in front of you
Because I can Because I learnt that my words mean something Which is opposite from what you made me believe Because I learnt that my experience is something others can learn from Which is opposite to what you made me believe Because I learnt that I matter
Birthday. A situation. Fourth of July. The day I was waiting on for SO long He told me he was gonna take me out for dinner He said it was a “big date” And I couldn’t have been more touched by that I was turning 18 And all I wanted was an hour worth of his time That I never got That he never gave That I never felt His love was never defined by his words… Neither by anything else For the first time He was talking about ME And what I meant to HIM I have been waiting for this moment For so many years! And then. I realized… It didn’t mean anything I guess I have been waiting for too long
I have been hopeful for too long “STOP,” I interrupted him Sinking into my chair a little bit from the glances from the people around us “Let’s talk about YOU,” I said He mumbled something That neither meant anything not mattered He paused He wasn’t ready for a grown-up me He wasn’t ready for my questions He wasn’t ready for my curiosity The same way he has always been Only now he couldn’t leave Avoiding the questions was finally not one of his options All the correct answers were running through my head While he was sitting there in silence He didn’t know what to do He couldn’t tell me the truth (Although I knew it And he knew I knew it) He finally said “I’m sorry!” I. have. never. heard. him. say. that. Neither to me Not to his mother Nor to anyone else! I felt tears forming in my eyes I wanted to say so much But also knew he wasn’t gonna hear But he was RIGHT THERE
And I couldn’t pass on that opportunity Fast Forward 10, 15, 20 minutes I was talking and talking and talking Choking on my own tears Blurring out everything he never wanted me to know in the first place Until I finally stopped I took a deep breath And looked him in the eyes And realized he had nothing to say He had no arguments He agreed with me And that was the worst part. I stood up I took my jacket And looked him in the eyes one last time “Please don’t come back” “And please don’t call me your daughter” “Thank you. And good bye.”
To my Fish
by Paige Moffat
My fish, Your scaly, slimy little body shimmers, Brighter blues than the clearest oceans. You have my attention, Even though you are mute. Wildy like weedy green vines scaling a lattice, Your fins govern most of your body. My fish, do you care? Plastic petit pebbles lie dully, At the bottom of your oval glass bowl. Atop the faux rocks is a castle, Fake of course but yours nonetheless, A castle with fading colors of blue and brown, And struck by a golden pitchfork looking shape. It is most likely meant to be to that of Poseidon, A mythological creature of the sea. My fish, do you notice these things? Day after day you sit, swim and eat, You canâ€™t walk nor can you talk. My fish are you bored? But that was then. Now youâ€™re no longer in your bowl. My fish were you sick? With one flush, Just one mundane task, a push of a handle, You leave the world. You leave the world of ongoing turmoil, But you also leave the world of often occurring miracles. How does a creature such as yourself live, Live a life untouched by foreign objects. You did not pick your role on this earth, Nor did I.
My fish, After all you are just a fish. You swim into the same wall, At least five times a day. My fish, How did you get so lucky? Yet my fish, How did you get so cheated? Have fun in fishy heaven.
Essay by Miranda Yang
The Piano Lesson in Two Representations In his renowned collage The Piano Lesson, Romare Bearden expressed the hopes and values of African-American culture through the use of “sharp breaks,” “contrasting colors” and “distortions of surrealism” (Romare Bearden’s Influence). Inspired by the collage, August Wilson wrote his play of the same title, as he had always looked up to Bearden’s work as an epitome of black art (Historical Context). While Wilson remained loyal to the original painting, he wrote the play in his own style, incorporating popular cultural elements from his era. While August Wilson’s play, The Piano Lesson, shares with Romare Bearden’s painting a chaotic setting and a conflict surrounding a mere piano, it also expands the relationships in the Charles household to a larger community. Similar to the painting, Wilson’s play depicts a melting-pot-type chaos in its cultural and historical setting. In his peculiar collage, Bearden placed mismatched decorations all over the space, from the foreground to the background, without any coherent connections. For instance, although the brown curtain seems unnoticeable at first, its subtle waviness suggests an ominous feeling. On the piano stands a vase painted with vibrant green leaves. In it, however, a flower with no root suffocates, just as in reality, transplanted African Americans suffer from physical and psychic wounds in North. Next to the vase, the bright yellow photo frame contrasts with its abysmal center, suggesting abruptness and uncertainty. The unproportioned piano, with a tilted contour, dominates the living room. Each object exhibits a sense of oddity, and all together, they indicate a lack of unity and congruity. Such imbalance is echoed in the setting of Wilson’s play: a parlor “without vigor or warmth” (Wilson 1). Also, the historical setting of the play corresponds to this chaos. In the 1930s, countless Southern African Americans migrated to the North looking for better living conditions. However, they struggled to find jobs, thus compromising and transplanting their cultures. Consequently, they faced conflicting values and changing identities. For instance, in the drama, Berniece, living in the North, and Boy Willie, remaining in South, have different perspectives on Maretha’s education. While Berniece feels the need to “teach her the truth” (92) about their inferior position in society, Boy Willie refutes social norms, takes pride in his identity, and desires success. He resolutely states that “I’m living at the top of life. I ain’t just gonna take my life and throw it away at the bottom. I’m in a world like everybody else” (92). The settings of the painting and the play successfully illustrate the pandemonium caused by simultaneously earning a living and assimilating into an urban community. Moreover, in both works, the conflict surrounding a piano serves as the center upon which the entire story is built. In the painting, a young girl sits in a reserved manner, stares at the score, and carefully presses on the piano keys. While the lack of emotion on her face indicates a disinterest in the activity, her rigid position suggests an uneasiness and fear of making mistakes. Beside the girl, an older woman bends her back and supervises her playing the piano. Pressuring the girl’s shoulder and standing next to the girl instead of sitting with her, the instructor seems demanding and condescending. Despite their physical interaction, the two figures share no
emotional connection. Thus, the piano lesson becomes a source of conflict. Similarly, in the play, the issue of selling the piano drives the plot forward. Berniece and Boy Willie are both resolute in their decisions regarding the piano. Berniece never plays the piano as she does not want to “wake them spirits” (70). The instrument reminds her of past afflictions, including her father’s tragic death after he takes the piano from Sutter’s house, her great grandfather Papa Charles’s delicate carvings that are sold for money by his owner, and of course, the history of slavery on Sutter’s land. However, she remains steadfast in keeping it, because the piano is both an heirloom, which carries a solemn family history, and a repository for her sentiments: fear, nostalgia, vulnerability, and sorrow. Compared to Berniece, Boy Willie is more pragmatic. He tries to persuade his sister to sell the idle piano so that he can buy Sutter’s land, thus regaining their history by physically possessing it. He puts himself into his father’s shoes, feeling indignation at being belittled by white men, in his statement, “If he had something under his feet that belonged to him he could stand up taller” (92). To Boy Willie, buying the land is the best solution to heal the wound of his ancestors. The disagreement is resolved when the struggle between Sutter’s ghost and Boy Willie causes Berniece to play the piano. Although the painting’s conflict seems more ambiguous than that of the drama, they both spring from only a piano. While the painting highlights the relationship between only two characters, the play takes on the complicated connections in a family and beyond. Even though Berniece’s adverse family history emphasizes racial inequality, the camaraderie among blacks, like that between Boy Willie and Lymon, serves as a source of warmth. They drive together from Mississippi all the way to Pittsburgh to sell watermelons and ultimately the piano. When the car breaks down twice in West Virginia, they collaborate to get through their predicaments. Lymon says, “Boy Willie have his door open and be ready to jump when that happens” (3). The intimacy between African Americans is also presented by Avery, a preacher eager to establish his own church. He tries to help Berniece overcome her psychological trauma by encouraging her, “Come on, play ‘Old Ship of Zion.’ Walk over here and claim it as an instrument of the Lord. You can walk over here right now to make it into a celebration” (71). Avery rests his hopes for a better life on his religious belief and thus is rescued from the cruel reality. Finally, the supernatural spirit, like an adhesive between each struggling entity, connects African Americans to a profound degree. Relationships based on lineage, company, and mutual beliefs serve as a solid foundation of the society in the play. August Wilson grasps the characteristics of the chaotic setting in the painting by utilizing the conflict involving the piano and the well-established relationships within the AfricanAmerican community. While Bearden exemplifies the language of collage in his era through the dramatic use of colors, shapes, and space, Wilson translates this visual representation into a play in his mode and adds complexity to the Black experience during the Great Migration.
Har Gow by Joey Lin Thinking of Chinese food, you will have so many choices in your head: hotpot, noodles, broth... My favorite kind of Chinese food is dimsum. It is a tradition of Cantonese people when getting together with family and friends, sharing a pot of hot tea, enjoying the delicious food and chatting with each other. Dimsum plates are always served in steamer baskets. Among all the dimsum, shrimp dumplings, also called Har Gow, greatly appeal to me not only because of its phenomenal taste and delicate manual skills applied to the plate but also my precious memories with Grandpa. There are usually three pieces of Har Gow in one serving. Oil paper lies on the bottom of the basket to avoid sticking. On the top of the paper, there are three crystal clear dumplings just like jade. The wrappers on the outside are so thin and translucent that you can see the fresh cooked prawns inside. They are sturdy enough to hold the meat stuffing and shrimps. When you use the chopsticks to pick one up, the crystal wrapper of the Har Gow sticks neither to the paper nor the chopstick or other dumplings. When you get close to the dumpling, the clear fragrance of rice flour appeals to you first. Later when you take a big breath, the smell of the fresh shrimp and meat slowly slides into your nose. How excited are you about to enjoy this delicious plate! The moment your teeth touches the jelly-like wrappers, they immediately melt into your mouth. The next flavor you taste is the freshness of the prawns. When the crispy shrimp quickly slide on your tongue, it feels like the shrimp is jumping and dancing happily. Later, when you start to chew on more stuffing, the savory meat will suddenly burst in the mouth. Every time I finish enjoying Har Gow, there is always a sense of satisfaction and pleasure. A few years ago in Canton, walking into a teahouse, the smell of the fragrance of tea and aroma of all kinds of refreshments such as steam noodle rolls and custard buns ran into my nose. Satisfied by the first impression, I looked around this medium-sized restaurant with many tables. Middle-aged waitresses were carrying food carts full of steamer baskets. I heard the yelling of waitresses from one side of the restaurant to the other. It was not loud; on the contrary, it fit the noisy atmosphere because everyone in the room was chatting with their family members and friends. I noticed there were smiles on all of their faces, which cheered me up on a sweltering summer day. Grandpa observed that my attention was fixed on the unfamiliar situation. He asked me to sit down and talk to him. At the same time, he ordered a plate of Har Gow from the cart. He then asked me about my feelings, either like or dislike, towards this teahouse. My eyes were fixed on the dimsum in the basket, not paying attention to Grandpaâ€™s words. Therefore, I just replied with some random words. He then picked up one dumpling and put it in my bowl, saying that â€œGathering together and sharing a pot of tea and several plates of dimsum are always what Cantonese do with their relatives and friends especially on important days. Dimsum has been a big branch of Chinese traditional food since the beginning of the last century. It is interesting to see how it has evolved over time. Take this Har Gow as an example. At first it was only cooked shrimps wrapped in a flour wrapper. Later people added chopped pork and radish to improve its texture, making it both soft and crispy. To be honest, dimsum is a plate that tests the skills of a dimsum chef. There should be seven to ten pleats on the wrapper and it should be perfectly thin and crystal clear. Besides, the prawns inside should not be overcooked. The amount of meat should not surpass the amount that can be eaten in one bite. The radish chosen should be crisp and ripe. Right now, the skill of making Har Gow by hand is almost extinct because people now prefer machines to their own hands. Plus, younger people would rather work in an office than a kitchen. Not only the flavors but also the manual skills connected with the traditional plates
should be preserved and inherited. This idea should be acknowledged by more people especially in your generation.” After Grandpa’s long talk, I was lost in thought. After that experience in the teahouse, I always go to the teahouse and order two to three plates. Drinking tea and looking around the restaurant, I am glad seeing how people appreciate what they are enjoying with their close ones right at that moment. I am also surprised at how the power of dimsum can create strong bonds among people. Although Grandpa has passed away, I miss him when I eat Har Gow. When the wonderful taste of the plate jumps around my mouth, I think of Grandpa’s talk of the traditional skills. It inspires me to think about my own future: Will the traditional skills be protected? Will the world be machine-dominated? Will our generation acknowledge the importance of cultural inheritance?
The Long Fifteen Yards by Michael Kassis The plane ride was supposed to be short but was made long by the task. I had flown from western Virginia to Northern Michigan, then down to Arizona. It had been a long journey, too long. A journey that should have only been a couple of hours, but it had felt like an eternity. The burden of this journey had weighed me down, almost like an anchor buried into the ground being pulled by a ship. I had delivered the one message many parents dread: the body of their child who had died doing something they had thought right. The body of a fallen soldier. In the early part of the week of the beginning of April, I had been called into my commanding officer’s office. He had received a notice that a fellow Marine, a boy from my town, had been killed in action over in Afghanistan by an insurgent. The boy, or the PFC, had been brought back to the States and my job was to escort his coffin back to our town, his home where his parent anxiously awaited, and hoped that he wouldn’t come home as he would. I escorted his body home, which made the plane ride longer as I have said before. When I arrived at the final airport in Arizona, a man in a dark suit met me there. He introduced himself as the funeral director. He helped me get the coffin into his hearse (along with four other airport workers). He drove both of us to the little town. He told me about the boy, about the PFC. His name had been Gary Rein. Gary had been a great kid, a scholar. He had been an exceptional athlete his whole life, star football and baseball player. He was a strong kid too, bigger than most. But besides all that he had been kind, caring, quiet. Gary never was arrogant about his skills, he just was quiet and kind. He was supposed to go to college, the funeral director said, but he joined up after the attacks on 9/11. He was a kid dedicated to his country, fighting for something bigger than himself, giving his life for what he believed. Within a couple hours, the director and I arrived in the town. Gary’s recruiter and a few Marines met us at the funeral home. We unloaded Gary’s coffin and carried it into the home. The recruiter introduced himself to me. He had been with Gary all the way up to his death. He said Gary would have been flattered that a superior officer had decided to escort his body home. I would have liked to have met the boy. The next day I was introduced to the family. I had been instructed to give them the items he had possessed while overseas. I handed over these items which, in tears, they took. The father told me about his son while his mother sat next to him, turning the items over in her hand, crying. I fought hard to hold back my own tears, in which I was successful. It hurt though, watching a once happy family lose their only child, their whole world. It hurt. The morning of the funeral was long and hot. The black dress uniform that every Marine is assigned was chafing at my neck. I felt it scratching at my neck while the heat beat down. I felt the weight of the heat on my shoulders. But it didn’t matter, I ignored all this annoyance. There was no time for annoyances, only time for the funeral of a good Marine. The call to attention came from a superior officer, as the coffin was walked to its grave. The long fifteen yards as they called it, or the last. It signified the last steps a soldier took before finally ending his watch. I could hear people crying in the back as I saluted the procession as it
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passed. I felt a tear roll down my face. I cried not only because a good Marine had died, not only because other soldiers had died and would, I cried because I realized something I had missed the whole ride here. This was not just any funeral. It was my funeral.
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Bucky by Sean Thrane
The cold wood creaking The turn of the owlâ€™s head The branches in the wind The echoing cracks of the frozen lake The ghosts emerging from the lungs of animals The icicles on the trees The big brown eyes Wet nose, making fog Breath after breath The mountains of snow on the boney structures Avalanches every few minutes The twitching of the ears The crunch of the snow under the hooves The click of a camera Silence. As you know he heard it The silence in the forest Too much noise for the buck He walks away And you exhale for the first time in minutes
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Good Food and Good Memories by Sommer Miller
My purpose for choosing this meal is to show that a meal does not have to be extravagant or fancy in order to be memorable and hold a special place in your heart.
The meal took place in Puerto Rico in my grandparents’ marbled �loor kitchen that always seemed to have the windows open no matter the weather. I remember waking up to my mother knocking on the door to tell me to get up and get dressed since breakfast was almost done. Walking into the kitchen where my grandparents, my sisters, and parents were gathered, with the sun shining through and the warm breeze �loating through the front and back windows created the most relaxing morning I had ever experienced. The atmosphere was peaceful and calm like standing on a beach with the sound of calm waves, eyes closed, and the sun on your face; I just wanted to just freeze the moment and cherish it. The setting of this meal was one of the three main ingredients that made the meal itself so signi�icant to me.
Even though this meal is just made up of typical breakfast foods, the taste of the fruit, bread, eggs, hash browns and even the ketchup were special compared to the many other breakfasts I have experienced. My grampy walked into the kitchen holding a sugar cane and a machete. His neighbors had allowed him to chop it down from the sugar canes in their backyard.
My grampy gave me the sugar cane to suck on. The rough, straw-like �ibers of the inside of the cane where the sugar was held scraped my tongue as I sucked. The sugar cane was sweeter and tastier than any sugar you can buy at the grocery store. The eggs were �luffy, squashy, and melted in my mouth as I chewed. I dipped my eggs into the only ketchup she always seemed to have that would always produce a funny taste in my mouth. A hash brown went on the side of this meal and her hash browns were without fail somehow wet from when she would continue to wash her hands as she cooked and did not dry them thoroughly due to her rushing around. The women that made this meal seemed to make these ordinary foods taste a little bit better.
The women who made the meal gave it that special taste and importance to me. She was my grammy. Her name was Tina Soto, and she had a mouth as loud as mine. Tina was average height, round, and waddled like a penguin but sweat like a pig which did not make her any less loveable. Breakfast was not a challenge to her since she used to own a breakfast place where she also cooked. When Tina made this meal or any other meal, she rushed all over the kitchen, juggling too many priorities at once without taking the offer of those who begged to help take the pressure off. She lifted her glasses up to wipe the sweat from under her eyes and dabbed her arms and neck with a damp paper towel to soak up the sweat from the heat of the kitchen. The meal tasted good because of the effort and hard work my grammy put into creating the food.
Yellow Spanish bread would be paired with the eggs and hashbrown. The squishy, soft, and sweet bread was perfect for putting my eggs on. Butter would not be needed for the bread
since it already had a delightful taste. The meal I chose was not fancy but the meal was special to me due the memories tied with the setting, food, and the person who made it. The environment I ate the food in help enhanced the fondness of the meal. Even though the ingredients were simple, the memories tied to the food made the meal taste better. Since the meal was prepared by my grammy, it meant more to me. Any meal can be special if you have good people to share it with, a peaceful setting, and someone who puts in their hard work to create the meal.
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The Journey Before Dark by Talia Zabit Let's take a walk We donâ€™t have to travel very far To find what we are looking for Keep your eyes open along our short journey Our path takes us through the trees. Tall and lean, oozing with sap, They are striving to grow upwards reaching towards the light. The sun glimmers through their leaves showering them with nourishment. Tiptoeing quietly we encounter another creature. This riderless deer glances our way before prancing off. The woods release us into a vast opening. This meadow buzzes with life. Rodents scurry over our feet through the weedy greens, Bees buzz by our ears, As we frolic across the field By the time we reach the edge of the opening, You can hear the low sound of trickling water if you are quiet enough. Traveling closer the sound becomes much louder, Until you are standing on the banks of a coursing river. The water moves swiftly, Yet we can still notice life if we look close enough. A gull glides across the river, Fish dive through the rapids. In a shady part of the river, There is a collection of waterlilies floating peacefully. Our journey comes to a close. The night grows darker, The nature around us quiets. It is time for the nighttime creatures to surface, But that journey is for another day.
Two Poems by Rachel Cohen burdened body her lips tasted like mint and poison, like sadness and regret like helplessness and feigned strength like hunger and desperation. she walked with a certain stride that told the world i give up I'm in pain I can't do it anymore her curves once luscious and strong were bony to the touch like they could just snap under my touch her legs shook unable to hold up her burdened body the legs that once boasted her beautiful being now, too, looked like they could just snap her eyes revealed her inner turmoil her pain her anger her inability to change but only if you looked close enough and she is dying she is dying she is being killed by self-hatred by sky high expectations by herself she is being killed
A Shoutout to the Boys This is a shoutout A shoutout to the boys To the boy who I poured my soul out to: I gave you my everything I told you everything I vented to you in my darkest times Only to get back: "Read at 8:17pm". So I only have one more thing to tell you Don't worry, it won't take too long I promise it's worth your while You know, unlike everything else I've told you. Clearly.: You have no business calling yourself a friend, or even a decent person. You are selfish. And coming from me, I hope you realize how badly you must have behaved for me to say that. Because I support occasional selfishness. It's important to be selfish sometimes and focus on yourself. But You could not even give me the basic respect to tell me that you didn't want to couldn't didn't feel like talking to me. What kind of person does that, man? I'll tell you. The kind of person who doesn't care for anyone but himself. The kind of person who disregards the feelings of those who care about him the most. The kind of person who doesn't know how to communicate and who will suffer his whole life as a result. To the boy who played with my heart (and my ego). Who told me I was stunning, sexy, beautiful, Only to drop me once I wasn't "fun" anymore. So sorry I couldn't be the plaything you wanted me to be. Just kidding. Wanna know what I'm really sorry for? I'm sorry you clearly were raised to manipulate your way through life. I'm sorry you don't have any respect for yourself, let alone other people. I'm sorry you only know how to take, and not give. I'm sorry you can't recognize a good thing when you have it.
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To the boy reading this crying out "not all boys!": If you are standing by or encouraging these boys, You are part of the problem. I don't care if you've never left someone on "read at 8:17pm" in your life Or if you've never manipulated someone just to get what you want. If you're slapping your buddy on the back for "getting some bitch wrapped around your finger! Way to go, bro!" Or if your friend tells you "this crazy, annoying bitch keeps bugging me, I'm just gonna ignore her." and you just nod, You are part of the problem. If you are reading this and your first thought is about how this affects you, you are part of the problem. I never said, "all boys". You self-inserted. Shouldn't that tell you something? To myself: I'm sorry I let myself focus all my time and energy on those who didn't deserve it. I'm sorry I was blinded by the ego boosts and nostalgia. I am better than that. I am better than them. I do not have the world's greatest self-esteem, but that's okay. I'm working on it. I deserve people who will nourish my growth, not hinder it. I deserve respect. I deserve understanding. And I'm sorry I didn't realize that sooner.
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Speech by Clara Einhorn In German, we have a word for the child that has an older as well as a younger sibling: the sandwich child. Stuck between two slices of bread - or as in my case, siblings. I have no idea what I would do without my brother and my sister. They have always been there for me and I have followed my brother’s footsteps since I was little. And my sister followed mine. Neither I nor my sister had the possibility to do something completely on our own. Consequently, I was never pushed out of my comfort zone. It was easy and safe for me to follow my brother’s path. But I felt trapped anyway. Even when I applied to an exchange organization called ASSIST, I was following my brother’s footsteps. But this time it was different. Even though it was the same program, I’m attending a different school in a different state where I’m exposed to different opportunities than my brother was. I finally got the long-awaited chance to prove to myself that I am able to do things on my own. When I came to The Gunnery, I had mixed feelings. I was super excited but also afraid and anxious: to be in an unknown environment, meet people from diverse backgrounds, speak and study in a foreign language. During the first days and weeks, I met many incredible people but it was hard to integrate myself. I’m pretty introverted and especially while not speaking my native language, I was too shy to go up to other students and talk to them. And that isolated me. I had certain expectations of this exchange year at The Gunnery, and how I would use this year to develop and grow as a person. But at certain points it seemed impossible to reach. One day in the fall, I realized that I should stop wasting my time and start using it more effectively. I’m a person who doesn’t give up. I always give my best until I achieve my goals. At The Gunnery, I started with small steps: I surrounded myself with people I could imagine being friends with, I engaged in conversations that constantly expanded my horizons, and more importantly, I stopped being afraid to tell people when I struggle. Now seven months later, I feel like I am a completely different person. I have changed a lot and I am proud of my transition. Even if this year didn’t start off as I hoped it would, I actually met most of my expectations: I tried a bunch of new things, I’ve been a part of an incredible host family with whom I’m really close, I made amazing friends and a ton of awesome memories I would never change for anything. I’m glad that everything happened as it did. I grew because it was hard sometimes. But it’s an amazing feeling to know that you, by yourself, can deal with being uncomfortable! But if I had never asked for help, I wouldn’t have been the person I am today. Different from what I used to believe, it actually helps a lot to share your problems because it allows you to see them from another perspective. I do cherish being independent but independence isn’t always the smartest option: asking for help means being human and shows more strength than weakness. During the last months, I did feel uncomfortable. But I also found my own path which is very different from the one my siblings took! The Gunnery encourages its students to push themselves out of their comfort zones to find who they truly are. Whatever you decide to do, you need to remember the following: believe in yourself. You are so much stronger than you think you are; and if you realize that, you will find the strength to master every challenge you face. Thank you!
Poem by Kio Yoshinaga
I prefer emotions. I prefer abstract thought. I prefer irony and creativity. I prefer a comfortable silence than forcing to keep a conversation. I prefer a close companion than blabbering about bullshit no one actually cares about. I prefer to dig. I prefer to know more. I prefer to understand what's behind the facade that you carry. I prefer you. I prefer laughing with you as we walk along into the unknown, shit-talking about the world. I prefer lying in the grass, listening to music, watching the clouds roll by with you. I prefer you looking into my eyes, telling me you'll stay the night. I prefer feeling you gently. I prefer kissing your lips than having meaningless sex with one Iâ€™m not attached to. I prefer remembering this one moment, than wasting my time elsewhere.
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I prefer you scar me than you trying to cover my wound. I prefer hearing your heart speak than saying words that act as my bandage. I prefer crying with you than hearing you say â€œI'm okay.â€? I prefer to risk feeling hurt, than not knowing how deep we really can go. I prefer making love to you now even if I realize later that you will wound me. I prefer being conscious beforehand to obliviously diving into a deep, deep pit of wonders, only to later be shattered by the realization that it never lasts forever.
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Two Poems by Christian Kummer Infatuation As I sipped from your cup of seduction I let you entrance me with your presence and the fresh glint of your eyes. Within the confines of the trap you set me in I explored the contents of your soul and the uncharted waters of your mind. On the outside of the inside I watched as you danced with trembles and released the hopeless diction of your song from the cusp of your internal lips. All along you were broken All along you wouldnâ€™t let your pounding cries for help shine through your golden skin. All along you were just a pile of some scattered puzzle pieces waiting to be picked up. I was drunk on the idea of being together forever, but in the blink of an eye, you vanished. I fought the gravity of reality pushing me away from the sweet taste of your love for so long, but alas, I was defeated. I was never mad though, I always knew it would happen. You were everything to me despite your personal nothingness. I was in love with the gone girl.
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Zone Out Familiarity As you walk through the door Serenity As you lock eyes with mine Electricity As your smile and the sides of your face crinkle Unpredictability As you move in my direction Eternity As I discover that Iâ€™ll love you forever Visibility As I watch you whisper that you love me too Unsatisfactory As I awake from my daydream Reality As I remind myself of your unobtainable affection
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Whose woods these are, I really couldn’t tell you by Sam Johnson Whose woods these are I think I know His house is in the village though If I see a pond I’ve gone too far This would have been easier if I had a car My feet have blisters, my legs they ache I’d just like to know where I am for heaven's sake! It’s getting dark out, I’m running out of time This would be easier if I didn’t have to rhyme I’m walking in circles, why am I here? Maybe I’ll stay in the woods and live with the deer I’ve gone off the path and I don’t know how to get back At this point I’d be ok with staying in a haunted shack This map is no help, now I’m completely lost I could write about this, like that guy Robert Frost!
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in Justspring luscious
when the world is mud-
â€Ś when the world is puddle-wonderful E.E. Cummings photo by Miranda Yang
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