The poems less traveled


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“I love Poetry Out Loud so much because it allows us all to tap into something completely different that we hardly ever get to experience; it pushes the boundaries of what we are comfortable with and allows us to grow as people,” says Nicole Plummer ‘19.

Patrick Bloniasz, Co-Editor in Chief

The annual tradition of Poetry Out Loud has found its way back into the lives of Hollis Brookline once again, as English students from across each grade level competed against each each other in the school competition hosted on Dec. 20 in the auditorium. After an excellent showing by all of the class finalists, the judges decided on Hannah Riseman ‘20 as the school champion after her recitations of “I Felt a Funeral in my Brain,” by Emily Dickinson and “The Lamb,” by Linda Greg.

Poetry Out Loud, according to their website, “encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.” The competition was adopted into the HB English curriculum many years ago, after the department felt the need to expose students to more diverse forms of literature. English teacher Lauren Girolimon feels that it “is a unique opportunity for students to showcase skills they’ve developed from presenting in different classes, for a real-world purpose.”

Two-time participant and 2017-18’s school runner up Lily Coady ‘20 recited “Flounder” by Natasha Trethewey and “The Wish, by a Young Lady” by Laetitia Pilkington. She felt as though participating allowed her to get in touch with something she hasn’t done in such a long time: acting and taking on the power of someone else’s voice and perspective. “I was nervous at first, but after reciting my poems, I knew the nerves and extra work were worth it. I’m so glad I participated!” said Coady.

Participant Franklin Lee Pugh III ‘18 had similar sentiments saying, “it was intriguing to listen to the poems presented and it was cool to see… the way they were recited differently from what I had originally interpreted.” He did mention, though, that not everyone is into poetry, but that more exposure to poetry in the future could improve people’s relationship with it.

Riseman will compete at the state level on March 9, representing all of her peers here at HB.