Offices & Resources

Poetry Week

Happy St. Mark’s Poetry Week! Throughout the week of April 20-24, we invite students, alumni, faculty, and staff to collaborate and create poems in celebration of the art of poetry. 

Faculty Poetry Recordings

"Little Tree" by E.E. Cummings translated into Norwegian by Mr. James Wallace

"#2020#" by Ms. Loris Adams, director of Community & Equity Affairs

"Makurakotoba" by Ms. Heather Harwood

Poetry Week Contest Winners
 

Best Overall Poem

When It Is Time To Go Out

By Naila Strong

When it is time to go out,
The door may hesitate
In its attempt to mock me
As I stare at it and imagine
A world I do not know.

When it is time to go out,
I fear I will miss the screen
I sat behind
And forget that I am not a face
But a body too.

When it is time to go out,
It will just be quieter cause of the voices
That could no longer
Hang onto the air.

When it is time to go out,
I hope that hugs
Are tighter
Than the gloves
That clung onto my hands.

When it is time to go out,
I need to come back in
Because after all It may not be time to go out.

Best Art and Poem Collaboration 

Sealed With Gold
By Kendall Sommers and the artwork is by Lily Wang Luo


 

Best Alumni Poem

"Reflections on an Uncertain Present"
by Mr. Nick Noble ’76 

In isolation we are incomplete.
We miss the closeness, hugs and hands to hold,
The face-to-face connection, and the time
Sure spent in genuine togetherness.

The silence deafens ears so used to noise,
The buzz of social chatter and the sounds
Of bodies moving through common shared space.
Yet there are voices still—the silence haunts.

Just listen! Hear beneath the quiet hum,
And look beyond the emptiness of now.
They are all here, with us, a family:
Spirits of quarantines from long ago.

We’ve all been here often before and know
The loss of dreams, adventures missed, and more:
The cancelled celebrations and the cost
Of lost leave-takings, unfinished farewells.

The ghosts of partings passed remind us still
That in the end we’ll all both grow and change,
And yet survive, strong in spirit and soul
Rising again, like Phoenix, from cold fire.

We haven’t lost each other; only time,
And place, and space, and circumstance are gone.
The love that bound our hearts—that still remains,
And will forever keep us as one soul.

Best S-M Word Poem 

Sandy Simplicity
By Frances Hornbostel

swelling in the sand
i see myself
mounted on the splashing summer sea
seemingly studying me
in the sun's mirage of me
in the surf
i see

a smile on my salty mouth
mocking man's simplicity

see,
superficially
smiles sing of satisfaction
but satisfaction
shouts for more
must say more
must.

see,
man solely scratches the surface
seeing shapes
seeing smiles
seeing sadness in mourning
seeing sunlight in the morning
stopping
as shapes make sense

man,
so simple.

but
man spurns such simplicity
man salutes scrutiny
meticulous study

making meaning
from shapes as shadows
marveling in subtlety
subtlety
so marvelous
in man

Best Collaborative Poem 

2001
By Kendall Sommers and Padma Mynampaty

a candle that ran out of wax
my flame seems to have gone out too
will we get these days back?
scrolling aimlessly 
reminiscing on memories 
this 
isn’t how it was supposed to be. 
I’ll miss the side smiles and 
your friends waving hi. 
no more surprise visits at my shows, 
or early morning music. so I
will 
wish for more moments of
cheering by your side.
my eyes would’ve watered 
as I held my brother tightly 
for the last time in the hallways 
where we used to 
pass
by each other and 
the next time I walk through these halls
something will feel off, he won’t be there 
on the other line of the phone
and I won’t get mad at him for 
always being late in the mornings 
and he won’t be waiting in the parking lot
in spot seventeen for me 
when we’re ready to go home 
we would’ve gotten to say goodbye

Best Advisory Food Poem

Comforting
By Marion Donovan, Shin Yeong Park, Jiamin Li

Darjeeling and oolong, jasmine and pearls,
Chocolate chip cookies and brownies with swirls:
All sit on an owl plate with festive napkins.
These are a few of my favorite things!

Vanilla with sprinkles, cookies and cream,
Mint chocolate chip with mint leaves to team:
All on some handmade icecream cones.
These are my favorites to show on i-phone!

Berries and mangoes, honey on milk,
Taro well blended with dots of red beans like silk,
Hard time choosing the ones to fit in my cup.
These are a few favorites on which I will sup!


Poetry Week Contests


Collaborative Contests (all due by Friday, 4/24, 5:00 p.m.):
  • Best collaborative poem about living and working in isolation, where one student writes one stanza and then another student writes the next and so on (with up to 5 collaborators). All poet names should be on the poem. The winning poem will be considered for the Vindex Prize Day issue and will be shared with the whole school community.
 
  • Best poet and artist collaboration. Please send both the artwork and the poem (one can inspire the other or both can work from the same idea-- however you want to collaborate). Artist and poet name required. The winning poem and artwork will be considered for the Vindex Prize Day issue and will be shared with the whole school community.
 
  • Best poem written by an advisory group on food. The advisor should share the poem with me, listing the members of the advisory group as the poets (the advisor can participate, too!). The winning poem and artwork will be considered for the Vindex Prize Day issue and will be shared with the whole school community.

Individual Contests (all due by Friday, 4/24, 5:00 p.m.):
  • Best poem by an individual that only uses words beginning with S and M. You may use articles, but every other part of speech should begin with an S or and M. The winning poem wins a gift card!
     
  • Best overall individual poem. The winning poem wins a gift card!
     
  • Best poem written by an alumnus/alumna of St. Mark’s. The winning poem will be considered for the Vindex Prize Day issue and will be shared with the whole school community.

Follow @smlions on Instagram for stories, posts, and videos related to Poetry Week!

Check out student poems in the latest edition of the Vindex online. 

Questions?

Please contact Ms. McCann at sarahmaccann@stmarksschool.org with any questions. Poetry contest submissions should also be submitted via email before Friday, April 24, at 5:00 p.m.