View a photo gallery of the poetry assembly
Junior Brittany Jackson emcee’d this year’s annual Poetry Month Assembly, which had a theme of Community. The poems presented during the assembly—original poems by Bullis students as well as poems by more famous poets—focused on this theme.
Visiting students from Italy—from the Roncalli High School and L. da Vinci Middle School in Poggibonsi, Italy—participated in the assembly and presented the first poem, Travelling by Paulo Coelho in both Italian and English. They also read “Friends” by Caesar Pavese, in Italian and English.
Other readers included a group of Lower School students presenting “The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee” by N. Scott Momaday. Lower School Principal Betsy Kelly read a favorite of hers, “You Reading This, Be Ready” by William Stafford. Additional poetry readers included Middle Schoolers Carly Cohen and Jordan Schick, presenting “Learning to Love America” by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim and Zach Wood ’14 presenting “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay.
This year’s Bullis Poetry Contest Winners also read their award-winning original poems, presented here:
“Community” by Charlotte, Class of 2019
People Take it for granted.
They think that community is about people helping other people,
But they don’t help the community.
Some may say community is home,
But your home is a community.
A community of family.
Of people who care.
Who watch you at day,
And kiss you good night.
No matter where you are,
Community will be right there with you.
Standing by your side.
It will be there to help you,
But never will it hurt you.
“My Community” by Anna Fasolyak, Class of 2014
Let me tell you about my community,
Although I must admit I scott at the word.
We have no problems that can be seen
No famine or war or anything so visibly obscene.
No, what we’ve got is entirely different
And, to be honest, it’s hard to see unless you're a teen.
Although I don’t think adults are exempt from blame.
I feel like, since they are among us, they should see the same.
They should see the insecurities,
And they should see the corruption
But of course, they don’t want to
They caused the corruption—not the insecurities
And they’ve gone far beyond what students should permit--
Some of us, anyway, for most benefit
From the bribes and the veils that they’ll never admit
Cover every inch of their offices, every bit of their facade
And I’ve been to other places, I know it's not always this flawed
And I mean flawed by greed, I mean the adults who get paid
To make sure everyone does well, that they stay in school
To make sure their “community” is perfect, with every last rule
In the stupid rule book that we’ve let define us
In the unwritten words that we’ve let confine us
And some people may see it, but most people don’t.
I don’t mean to say I’m special, that I’ve got some sort of “vision”
But I’m willing to do things without others’ permission
I’m willing to open my eyes and to see
And not everyone is, you see they’d rather be
Indifferent, or oblivious, along with myriad things
That I rejected long ago, for the sake of a life that sings
Out through the darkness, out through the smog,
Out to try and reach something pure, something long gone
Something people thought that they would never see
Something people think has been overgrown with poison ivy.
But I fight for the thought that this might exist
That this isn’t just a tryst between me and happiness
I have the power to believe in human good
And if I don’t find any here, that’s fine
I’ll look elsewhere, in places that should
Have humanity, belief, and honor that would
Release us from this state of nonexistent selfhood
I won’t give up like I know many have
I will fight tooth and nail and with my will,
I will hail the coming,
The return, of an age of honesty
Of an age when my community can recover from this reel
That we are watching, that we are taking in
And we will rise, and we will have the power to feel
The power to speak, and the power to yield
Results, and I mean real ones, not just a change in how we dress.
And this, I cannot think enough to stress:
That we are better than what we have become
Than what society’s forced us to be,
And we will find the key
That will unlock the truth that will allow us to be guileless
That will allow us, at last, to discover our own happiness.
April 26, 2012