Poetry month: a view into the creative mind

Kyra Abbott ‘24, Student Life Editor

April is National Poetry Month — a month dedicated to the celebration of the art and history of poetry. Days of the Year, a detailed digital calendar, said, “This [month] was inspired by the success of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, both of which also happen in the early parts of the calendar year.” In 1995, The Academy of American Poets hosted a meeting that invited poets, publishers, and literary organizations to discuss the benefits of potentially having a month dedicated to poetry. The meeting came to an agreement, and the month of poetry was established, which has grown in appreciation ever since. 

  In celebration of this month, several SLHS students have shared their own poems. Below, the poems are showcased in the following order: a view into the world of undiagnosed patients (written by me), a calming perspective about the ocean (written by sophomore Olivia Wilson), the emotional toll of saying goodbye to moving neighbors (written by an anonymous SLHS student), and the importance of keeping a positive attitude in times of hardship (written by Edgar Albert Guest, a professional poet).    

Trapped in the System 

The medical world is full of doctors  

Doctors incapable of making the diagnosis 

So we are consumed

Consumed by the system 

The system that holds us victim 

Erased of the diagnosis

That could free us from the hostess 

Some patients are lucky 

The system consumes them

And within days to weeks, it spits them back out

We, the undiagnosed of the world, 

Get trapped for months to years 

For we are popcorn, fed to the jaws of the system, 

Only we don’t go down, we get stuck as kernels 

In the ruts of the monster’s teeth

We become transformed… waiting… time not brief 

Living a life of constant worry, uncertainty, and despair

We walk into doctor rooms, sit on the examination paper that crinkles 

And we are evaluated with care

The scent of sanitary surfaces fill our nostrils. Seems simple.

The familiar pinch poke prod of a needle upon our skin

The touch of a stethoscope on our chests 

Like the well-known caress of an elephant’s trunk upon her calf 

Negative test results are what we receive 

Normal people celebrate

Desperate patients, like us, are left with no answer and little hope

So desperate, that any answer would do

To free us from the ruts of the system

The sweet taste of hope constantly spoiled by the rotten taste of discouragement

Invisible symptoms lead doctors to say, “it’s all in your head”

But we know it’s not; doctors only believe the seeable 

We are voyagers, going from specialist to specialist

Only to see unsatisfied ripples being created, pushing us further away from shore

We start to see signs in everything and in every sensation

Our situation invades our thoughts, feelings, and even obtrudes into our dreams

Feeling alone, even though we aren’t, we grow hopeless…

And we grow weak by the thoughts of others 

We know the only way to find our way out of the system is to get a diagnosis

But, in the end, doctors can discover the enigmatic 

Even the unfortunate can become lucky; relieving the symptomatic 

“Trapped in the System” by Kyra Abbott

The Ocean

Hues of blue

Sun kissed sand

Waves billowing beyond the land

Tide rolls in 

Tide rolls out

Current pulls 

Coral shows

The creatures of the deep

In a magnificent talent show

Blue as far as the eye can see

Water is chasing me

Orange, red, and yellow glow

Sun is starting to go

Waves crash 

Ocean pulls back

Day is done

Water waves goodbye 

In the slow, gentle rocking 

Of the tide 

“The Ocean” by sophomore Olivia Wilson 

Sold and Gone: Life Goes On

The alarming SOLD sign just stood there;

It was a foreign language digging paths into my brain.

The house of my neighbors with young, adorable kids

Two comedic boys and one sweet girl,

Ranging in ages from three to nine

Evenly spaced like a fork’s tines.

Moving since they needed more room

Doing what they think was best for them,

But I don’t think moving was the best for any of us.

I had watched those kids grow up

Fed them their bottles of milk,

And held them when they were little.

I even saw them take their first steps.

Alas, goodbye to watching them grow

And watching them run in the snow.

Can’t be their fun sitter that gives each one a prize… 

It’s all gotten tremendously bitter with black skies. 

Their moving truck stacked box after box,

Just stares at me with those headlights 

As clueless as their dachshund that has tracked mud through the house.

Life seems pointless without neighbors like them. 

Already missing their sweet, satisfying smiles.

Their giggles were a magical melody 

That filled my body with springtime hope. 

Their spontaneous stories that warmed my heart melted

Like crayons left in their humid Honda. 

Those kids could make anyone smile,

Even on the roughest of days. 

I’ve been lucky enough to have them here;

After all, you don’t get to pick your neighbors.

I will miss their familiar presence,

But spring does come with a new birth in sight.

Spring will be sure to bring me new flowers,

And return me to a joyous state once again.

It will be alright, change will prove to be beneficial with time

The new neighbors, I’m sure, will be equally prime.

          “Sold and Gone: Life Goes On” by an anonymous SLHS student

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

when the funds are low and the debts are high,

and you want to smile but you have to sigh,

when care is pressing you down a bit – rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns.

As everyone of us sometimes learns.

And many a fellow turns about when he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – you may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering man;

Often the struggler has given up when he might have captured the victor’s cup;

and he learned too late when the night came down,

how close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out – the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

and when you never can tell how close you are,

it may be near when it seems afar;

so stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – it’s when things seem worst, you must not quit.

“Don’t Quit” by Edgar Albert Guest 

In addition to the pleasure that may come with reading poetry, there are a lot of other benefits that many never really think about. Poetry is often overlooked as something that only “good” writers can accomplish, but that could not be further from the truth—anyone can write when it comes from heart-felt emotion, the five senses, or inspiration. 

The Benefits of Writing / Reading Poetry: 

  • It may improve cognitive function 
  • It may help heal emotional pain
  • It may increase self-awareness 
  • It may provide a gift of inspiration or education to readers
  • It may help us celebrate
  • It may be beneficial for developmental learning / increase developmental skills 
  • It may help improve or establish ideas
  • It may be therapeutic for the writer 
  • It may be therapeutic for the reader
  • It may help people understand the significance of words and phrases 
  • It may help people understand others
  • It may help people understand themselves  

Every poem has its calling to someone somewhere, and every poem has a purpose and a gift woven within the lines. The creative mind has no end, for it has two powerful allies: the imagination and the heart. Therefore, join in on celebrating the creative art of poetry and the multitude of unique styles of writing that it has to offer.

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