Five Jordan-Small Middle School eighth graders reached for a dream and have landed upon the stars of published poets. The students entered their poems into a contest hosted by Creative Communications, a publishing company that encourages and promotes writing among youth. They competed against many other contestants along the Eastern Region and were recently selected as winners. Their poetry will be published in a hard-bound collection of poems from students nationwide.
“These students are dedicated to the craft of writing,” stated Patricia Valley, eighth grade English and Social Studies teacher. Valley also explained that some students would spend time after school on their own volition, to work on their projects, making sure to do the best of their ability.
Although it is unclear whether these now published poets will continue on in this form of creative endeavor, they certainly are happy to have been selected.
“As a result of entering into this contest, I can see myself writing poetry in the future,” stated student Emma Taggart.
|L to R Vania Murch, Molly Cochrane, Emma Taggart were available the day of the interview to discuss their future as poets|
Another poet, Molly Cochrane said, “I can see myself doing this not as an occupation but as a side creative pastime.”
“I don’t really know what I plan to do,” stated poet Vania Murch, “But I am keeping my possibilities open.”
Whether or not these eighth grade poets will make a life-time commitment to the craft of writing, it will certainly contribute to their future in many ways. “They can use these poetry writing publications as part of their application process to college,” explained Valley.
Below are the students’ published poems. Some of the authors were inspired to write about what they recently learned during a unit of study on the holocaust while some chose to write about other subjects such a bullying.
Never Forget by Emma Taggart
You were stripped of your freedom
Everything you had
But you didn’t give up
You fought for freedom
And for love
Even when fear knocked on your door
And when fear kicked it down
And even when death snuck in on people’s lives
You tried to get a grip on hope
Even when hope was fading away
No Jew was safe
But you kept fighting
You didn’t believe in failure
You were strong
Even in the hardest times
And that was part of the reason why you are still alive
Be the Light
By Molly Cochrane
The smallest acts of kindness can help no matter how small or large
Be the light in another’s eyes
Help the ones who need it most
Give a sandwich
Lend a hand
No matter how big or small
If one survives and live to tell, we all do
Bring the stories with you
You are the voice
We are the listeners
The photo boxes with the pictures of the people without names
Are forgotten but somehow not
Now we all know
The stories we tell have to live on
Because if not who knows what will happen
And that’s the problem
We don’t know
How could we?
Tell the stories
Lend a hand
Be the light in someone’s eyes
They and I
By Reese Merritt
They had power, and I did too,
They had strength, and I did too,
They had weapons, and I did too,
They were cruel, and I was not.
The one difference between us,
Defined us, and it unquestionably decided the gap between us,
This one difference would break into microscopic puzzle pieces,
The will to hate, torture, suffocate and kill.
The one difference between us,
Told our stories, and it unquestionably decided the love between us,
I love the Jews and they did not,
I love the Americans and they did not
I love the ones who helped and they did not.
We were unalike,
Nazi Germany and I, the U.S.A.
Hope is Stronger than Fear
By Nicole Levine
When all humanity is lost
And disintegrates into survival,
All we have left is who surrounds us.
When it’s all over,
Maybe we can forgive,
But can we forget?
The Holocaust is a scar made on humanity
This scar reminds us of horrifying things,
And of unity.
Countries of different races
And religions came together to fight a common enemy.
The pitch, black, darkness, suddenly filled with light.
Looking back now
Heroes who saved lives inspire
To do good,
To do better
They remind us of the truth
Hope is stronger than fear.
By Vania C. Murch
Don’t be a bully,
You’ll hurt them fully.
I understand you are upset,
BUT that doesn’t mean you can make them fret.
You never know,
You may put them down too low.
Maybe someday you’ll be their friend,
It’s not the end.
You can be twice as awesome,
Just like a blossom.
I hope you aren’t too bad,
That would make them sad.
Please be considerate of them,
Maybe give them a piece of gum.
Maybe just a smile.
It won’t even take a mile.
If you have nothing nice to say,
Wait till the next day.
Invite them to hang out with you,
And BE TRUE.