The new year gives us a chance to think about resolutions, futures, and a fresh start in life. Teen Poetry Happens teens met on Tuesday, January 13 to create works using pens, pencils, markers, blackout poetry, and poetry out loud to get juices flowing.
This poem by the first Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Sara Teasdale, is a reminder that we should give all we can to loveliness - and that should include the arts.
"Barter" by Sara Teasdale
Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.
Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.
Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.
Here are the artistic pieces of loveliness the teens created at the meeting.
"Roots" by Julia Webb
“Hearts of Stone” by Sarah Johnson
Your heart is solid
An impenetrable shell
Surrounding your soul.
I want to win your love,
But it seems impossible.
I try so hard.
I want to fill the hole
She left in your heart.
I want to show you
That love still exists
In this world.
"Steppin' Out" by Berenice Reyes
“Future With A Pen” by Kira Call
I hold the pen in my hand, feeling it glide smoothly across the blank page before me. The words slide freely onto the blinding white of the paper.
I pause, the pen hovering over the blank space, so open, susceptible to ideas; waiting in eager yet painful silence with bated breath. I wait for words to come, for the deep black of the ink to scratch the markings known as letters across its face.
I find myself pondering the future, wonder what will come, what I myself will become. Doubt fills my being, slinking down into my core. It hides in the mysterious darkness around me. Can I achieve my dreams, or will the ocean of chaos that is the world drown me? Will the words that haunt me through the days, consuming so much of my being, continue to flow throughout my life?
Or will they dry up, never to appear again? This possibility scares me. Strikes fear into my heart, rending it in two.
I shake myself, pulling back from the abyss, with all of its dark and endless questions, all of its negative outcomes.
There are good things, too. Good outcomes that accompany the bad. I could easily continue to write my entire life, growing and changing along with my talent. Forge new friendships, create new stories. As long as I have this ability, this chance, this opportunity, I can make it through my future. I can take what comes.
"Eye of the Beholder" by Janah Bucknum
We are now accepting submissions for the 2015 Alexander Muse teen art and literary magazine. North Carolina poet laureate, Shelby Stephenson, has agreed to adjudicate the poetry division and we are grateful he has added us to his busy calendar.
All poetry, short story prose, and photography should be submitted in a digital format. Art (which must be two dimensional) may be dropped by Alexander County Library or to Robbin Isenhour Stewart at Alexander Central High School.
The contest is open to all Alexander County high school students - regardless of educational institution. This means the alternative school, private, boarding, or home schools.
Short stories should contain 500 words or less. Poems should not have more than 40 lines. Students may submit as many items in as many categories as they wish, but may only place in one category. Content should be suitable for all ages.
The last day to submit items for consideration is March 2, 2015. There are prizes and a chance to be published in high school, so get creative, Alexander County teens!