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Honors English Poems

Among the many things that are covered in sophomore English class, poetry is one that allows many students to thrive creatively. Currently, Honors English students have been composing their own works during this unit. Here are some that stood out:

Poetry

Katherine Vander Laan
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English teacher was delighted,

Yet I was thoroughly frightened.

Considering my inability

To write half-decent poetry.

In the library I researched.

I took down books from their high perch.

Through the stacks I wound up cruising

But the answer grew more confusing.

Needless to say, that didn’t work.

(Poetry you can’t learn from a book.)

I decided to put it off

And went to eat some beef stroganoff.

Although, you know, the problem is,

I could do better on a quiz.

I can’t seem to write poetry.

I’m pretty sure you would agree.
Now is the night before it’s due,

And, to be frank, I am screwed.

My syllables are all a mess.

My rhyme scheme I need to reassess.
I didn’t like the vocab words,

They all sounded awfully absurd.

As for the literary devices,

Well, they just weren’t terribly nice.

And as for my punctuation,

I don’t think its desecration.

I don’t feel it’s unbecoming,

Haven’t you heard of E. E. Cummings?

Although, you know, the problem is,

I could do better on a quiz.

I can’t seem to write poetry.

I’m pretty sure you would agree.

Today I’m at the podium,

(The one rhyme for this is sodium.)

Babbling things that don’t make sense.

Please, Mrs. Fry, don’t take offense.

Because, you know, the problem is,

I could do better on a quiz.

I can’t seem to write poetry,

It looks like my grade will agree.

 

 

Ode to internalized Homophobia

Tom DeZutter

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What ever would I do without the mounting sense of dread

That tells me I’m worth nothing and that I’m better off dead.

I wouldn’t know how to act without the inability

To take jokes, for fear that they are right.

How would my life work if I felt equal to my peers ?

And there wasn’t a voice within filled with hate ?

I couldn’t stand to live without the part of me that can’t stand me.
I often wonder how I got so lucky with this thing.

It’s like I won the lottery (actually, that’s accurate, because I wouldn’t want to win the lottery either, money corrupts).

 

I feel so sorry for all those who don’t have hate filled voices inside,

Telling them that anytime they screw up in the slightest

It’s cause they’re sinners and the thing they totally didn’t choose but is perfectly wonderful is causing their mind to decay.

Stupid me.

How could I forget?

Of course, I don’t get to feel the jubilee every single day;

The feeling comes less frequently, it only flares up every once upon a while,

And graces my ears with poison

Vitriolic to the touch, sight, smell, taste.

My inner ears of course, it graces my inner ears, that’s what I meant to say.

Of course it didn’t come out right, must be because I’m gay.

Of course it isn’t sweet, it sucks, it’s like walking through hell.

At least it’s not a quotidian journey.

It’s like monthly, it flares up,

Like fire, but made with death;

And remember, only one of those comes from hell.

Fire is how I describe my passionate response to my caustic inner critic,

My mind’s instant insistence that I am good and whole and wonderful.

That I’m not a sinner, this is how I am, this is who we are, not we as homosexuals,

But we As humans.

And we all have shit to deal with but it really doesn’t help

When you make someone else’s worse.

So don’t trigger the PTSD sufferer or bring down the depressed.

Or make rape jokes….really at all.

And, for the love of god,Yahweh, Allah, Jesùs, Vishnu, Satan, Siddharta, yourself, whatever you serve, whoever you are,

honestly, for the love of all that is good, and bad, and indifferent,

DON’T INSINUATE OR PERPETUATE THE IDEA THAT YOU ARE BETTER THAN SOMEONE ELSE BECAUSE THAT MEANS SOMEONE ELSE IS WORSE THAN YOU. AND THAT HURTS TO HEAR. THINK OF A TIME WHEN YOU FELT INADEQUATE AND TELL ME YOU DON’T WANT THAT ERASED. MULTIPLY THAT FEELING BY A MILLION AND IMAGINE A BILLION STIMULI ThROUGHOUT THE MEDIA AND YOUR COMMUNITY NOT ONLY PERPETUATING YOUR INFERIORITY BUT IGNORING YOUR EXISTENCE.

NOW TELL ME IF YOU EVEN WANT TO BE ALIVE.

PLEASE RESPOND YOU DO, BECAUSE YOU’RE STRONGER THAN IT ALL.

AND YOU CAN GRIT YOUR TEETH AND DO THIS WHEN IT’S HARD,

AND LAUGH ALONG AND DO THIS WHEN IT’S EASY,

BECAUSE YOU ARE RESILIENT.

So thank you, internalized homophobia, for being the necessary personification of evil in its everlasting struggle with good.

Thank you for being the villain that the super hero within gets to fight.

Thank you for perpetuating my compassion and empathy and making me angry enough to stand up for injustice when I see it.

Thank you for keeping me up at night, distracted during the day and frustrated beyond belief in twilight.

To quote one of my favorite people, homophobia, «You’re the weak one, and you’ll never know love

Or friendship

And I feel sorry for you.

No, I’m not weak

No I’m not slutty (if I was, that’d be great)

No, I don’t talk too much

I’m not messed up

I don’t fuck up everything I touch

I’m not a disgrace

And girls do think I’m great

I’m not gonna die young and alone

I WILL be happy

I won’t be depressed

I will be smarter than you’ll ever be able to comprehend

In fact, your hatred is difficult for me to comprehend because it’s so unintelligibly stupid

I won’t only have female friends

My self esteem is fine

I’m not a joke

They weren’t right, they never are

Except when they question what they do

 

Try to color everything I see and I’ll erase it

Oh wow, clever, aren’t you? You can’t completely erase colored pencils

Well that’s infuriatingly true

But you’re not like pencils

You’re something I hate, impermanent, like Expo, and so I’ll erase and you’ll be nothing but black ashes

Because my fire has won out over you

No one really asked your opinion in the first place……..

 

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