Spring Poetry by Dalia Harb

For the past month, Creative Writing has been in our poetry unit. In this unit, the sophomores have each taught a one-to-two day lesson surrounding their culture. This unit has been enchanting and delightful. Each new theme has been refreshing and taught me something new. I have been able to explore new cultures and writing originating from it, and my own writing has evolved with each new style. The sophomores give us poetry prompts at the end of their unit, a way to extend the lesson past the classroom and allowing us to experiment with writing on our own.

These units have helped my poetical voice develop. Through workshopping and reading new pieces, my writing has improved immensely.

Being able to explore the different poems from multiple cultures has opened my eyes to the different styles of poetry. With each unit, my eyes have been opened to exciting new voices and forms of poetry.

If I were to teach my own mini-unit I would bring in some poems surrounding Middle-Eastern culture. I would bring in some poems, such as ones by Mahmoud Darwish and Naomi Shihab Nye.

This unit is different from our previous unit, fiction, because in our poetry unit we have a larger range of diverse writers. In our poetry unit it has been much more personal and, while teaching us plenty about the culture, it has taught us about the person teaching the unit too.

My favorite has been Solange’s unit which was focused African-American culture. Solange brought in poems and showed us music videos by artists like Solange Knowles, Beyoncé, and Todrick Hall. These were significant because she was able to compare contemporary African-American poetry to older works, and how both still combat the same issues.

We get weekend prompts as well from Heather Woodward, our department head. One of the prompts was to write a poem having to do with a conspiracy theory. This was our first one given therefore the weakest of my poems this unit.

When we turn in the prompt to the sophomore who assigned it, they read over and edit it. Then we fix the edits they had made. We’re to edit all of our poems from this unit and hand them in as a portfolio.

We will be able to use the poems we have written for our upcoming poetry cafe. The poetry unit has been my favorite thus far. It has given me the opportunity to delve into different cultures and enhance my knowledge on certain topics, such as Native American dances and the history of Tagalog. I look forward to see what next year’s poetry unit holds.

Dalia Harb, class of 2020

Beauty and the Beast


F your upper class commas
and Valencia suits sewn
with elephant tusk and Sierra Leone’s
children, UNICEF babies, Korea and India,
Tijuana and China on their knees
polishing the shoes of Mr.America and his son
F your wooden desks
gold plated pencils, hyperboles,
polysyndetons, and sixteen years
of celebrating European culture
waxing your father’s
Alfa Romeo and country estate
drinking his aged liquor
French silks, Indian spices, and
South American gold
digging nothing up but severed hands
and indigenous corpses beneath the footprints
of our brave Puritan ancestors
F you and your daddy
the crack of his whip, the mast and his sails
his doctrines, compacts, and compromises
his trail of tears, trailer parks, and reservations-
Mr.America’s public zoo
his gangs and his allies
throwing flowers and clips at their victims
Latasha Harlins, Tyler Clementi,
Shaima Alawadi, Treyvon Martin,
Manuel Angel Diaz, Marcelo Lucero,
and Sikh’s
Forget your Renaissance roots
and Ivy League textbooks
your children are at your feet
–Hosanna Rubio
class of 2014
from “The Divine Feminine”

Poetry Cafe Show!

The time for our annual January Poetry Cafe has come once again! As usual, the seniors are running the show, from venue to auditions and all the in-between. There are two evenings, each with its own arsenal of poems: Friday, January 27 (at 7:30) is being held on the Mainstage at School of the Arts. Saturday, January 28 (at 7:30) is being held at the Greenhouse Cafe

on West Portal. Please come and bring friends! Who won’t want to spend their weekend with cultured and opinionated teenagers, right?