On M.L.K. day, only a handful of students attended our scheduled rehearsal for SCT’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Instead of blocking without all of our characters, I decided to spend the time introducing them to a little thing called the Shakespearian sonnet. After playing around with some of the Bard’s verse, I asked the students to write their own sonnets, using his unique format. I chose not to give them a writing theme or topic or opening line, but just to have them create words and phrases of their own, as they were inspired to do. Here are some of their offerings.
‘I stood alone and watched you dance.
You seemed to shine with ethereal light.
I approached you, took a breath, a chance,
But my disturbance shattered the illusion of that night.
Maybe our love was merely a dream,
A nightmare of when we joined to make us.
The haunting remnants of when it seemed
That we were honest and truly in love.
I’m still waiting for your memory to fade
But my heart won’t seem to let you go.
The many promises, under moonlight made,
Bitter falsehoods the morning light did show.
And so our love lies in the past,
Broken and destroyed, like shattered glass.’
A. Schulz, age 16
‘Standing in the midst of war
Deep inside his heart did search
A soldier praying to the skies for more
Time for life to leave its perch.
Staring at the blood around
Mixed with memories of early years
And fallen comrades slain on ground
Did awaken his darkest fears.
Tears shed for what just might have been
Had mankind been less a beast
He wept for unforgiven sin
And pondered on the devil’s feast.
For non but devil could cause such pain
As to fall in battle, never to rise again.’
K. Buice, age 15
‘The sun awakens a sleepy sky
Upon a dewy tree trunk I rest.
I wait and watch as the fire birds fly,
Igniting the sun, and brightness at its best.
The morning’s deafening silence rang
This forest is dead, yet so alive.
And in it so far, no birds have sang.
I haven’t been back here since the age of five.
Memories are stirring
I don’t want to come home.
I know changes are occurring.
A nearby river flows, covered by white foam.
As golden dawn turns into noon,
I know the time I dread is coming soon.’
B. Hegarty, age 13
‘The sun sets on a deep blue sea.
Heaven rises in the sky, waves blend with the clouds.
We sit on a bridge, a journey to be free.
There is no noise, but the silence is loud.
A sudden calm, like never felt before.
Wild, beautiful, killer creature slowly jumps high,
Jumps so high with a passion in her core.
One by one, millions come, with her they lie.
We look on with awe. I want to join, to swim along.
They wail, those whales, slowly swimming on a secret path.
If only this was real, not a dream or song
But still this sight rids me of all my wrath.
And somehow, they guide me as well,
Entrancing me in some magical spell.’
K. Charbonneau, age 15
‘A burst of life
A spark of light
To diminish strife
And end all plight.
An explosion of sound
An endless chatter
As people are found
By those that matter.
A sigh of relief
Is slowly amassed
With the certain belief
That the storm has passed.
And so people disperse back into the dawn
Now that the power is finally back on.’
M. Slotin, age 13
‘Sitting in the trees
All day long,
Swaying in the breeze
To my favorite song
Seeing little birds
Fly around me in the sky
Like they are in some sort of herd
Me wishing that I could fly
Dreaming as I sleep
So many happy things
Becoming so very deep
To my mind they would cling
Hoping to never wake
From this wonderful daily break.’
G. Anderson, age 16
‘The butterfly sucks the pollen out of the bloom
Flower protrudes out of the soil
The light shineth through the window at noon.
Wind softly flows, the grass looks royal,
The sweet sugar stirs in the tea.
Sun and moon love, stars neareth,
They switcheth in love. Me?
I try my love to pleaseth.
The torture apart,
A violin plays a soft melody.
The love we have is art,
When we come together, no fidelity.
The clouds are not crying
For I am not lying.’
N. Pearlman, age 13
Yeah, I mean it when I say these kids are awesome.