This afternoon I served as a part of the panel that judged the semi-finals of our Poetry Out Loud competition. Poetry Out Loud is a new experience for me, and I was impressed by each student’s commitment to their poem and to their willingness to take risks in front of one another and their teachers. This strikes me as very Crossroadian. Everyone memorizes and shares a poem for Poetry Out Loud. Everyone has a voice. I found each student’s poem to be unique or new or surprising. Student choice in this instance is another way that we can be ourselves. I marvel at the empathy that must be practiced when performing the poem and when listening to others perform. I am probably too often sentimental, and yet, today, I was touched by the sensitivity, the confidence, and the courage of our students.
Here are just a few of the poems I enjoyed listening to this afternoon:
- “The Song of the Smoke” by W. E. B. DuBois
- “The Albatross” by Kate Bass
- “The Blues Don’t Change” by Al Young
- “Becoming a Redwood” by Dana Gioia
- “Numbers” by Mary Cornish
I am looking forward to learning which students will be named finalists and to their performances on Friday during Community Time. The shared experience of poetry out loud strengthens our network of mutuality, creating a common, challenging, and meaningful experience for us all.
Nothing without joy,