Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Ruthie Prillaman: Passagio

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Congratulations to Ruthie Prillaman, the 2012 recipient of the Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award! Both she and the Haimovicz Visual Arts Award recipient, Samantha Ritchie, will be recognized at a special ceremony on June 12. Ruthie will also read a selection of her work. Join us next Tuesday for this free reception!

Passagio
by Ruthie Prillaman

It sounds like the parting of the Red Sea
As portrayed by some Italian Renaissance painter.
One would never think that it’s nothing more
Then a couple of notes humming between strings
No thicker than an eyelid.

I never know where to wave my hands
When I’m walking the tightrope.
Sway too far to the left
And a gust of wind grinds the rope to tatters.
Sway too far to the right
And the air gets too thin to breathe.

Fibers get brittle over time
If you don’t feed them;
they turn to spider webs,
sticking to your cheeks
But breaking under your touch.

I never wanted to face it,
Knowing that it would be years
Before I could weave the threads
Into anything resembling a bridge
That might support half the weight of my foot.

You can’t make your passagio go away
But if you oil it enough
And let it grow,
You can forget that it’s there
And cross.

Poetry Out Loud: Kari Barclay

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Each year over 365,000 high school students compete in Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation contest. Hear from Kari Barclay, a second-year Poetry Out Loud contestant, about his experience participating in Poetry Out Loud.

This is my second year reciting in Poetry Out Loud after last year coming in first at the state level and advancing to national finals, where I made it to the top 9 (out of 365,000). My experience with PoL has been phenomenal. Poetry Out Loud surrounds teens with students who, like them, are obsessed with poetry, and each teen has a passion for the poems he or she recites. Through Poetry Out Loud, I’ve met actors and slam poets and songwriters who all have a love for the spoken word. Each person has a message they want to get across to their audience.

Last year, I recited “Dog” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “Death be not proud” by John Donne, and “anyone lived in a pretty how town” by e.e. cummings. Speaking the poems aloud brings many of them alive. And for many students confronted with written works in a classroom setting, what would be intimidating on the page is electrifying spoken aloud. This year, I’ve come back for Poetry Out Loud to hear great reciters like the ones I encountered last year and to experiment with some new poems, “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell and “Under the Vulture-Tree” by David Bottoms. For me, it’s rewarding to take the words on the page and give them to the audience, in a form that does not spoon-feed meaning but rather gives the audience room to interpret. I’ve loved discovering hidden layers to the poems I’m reading and joining others for their discoveries as they recite.

– Kari Barclay

Kari will compete in the Maryland state competition this Saturday, March 3 at the Baltimore Museum of Art. He is also featured as a Top Teen in Bethesda Magazine’s March/April 2012 issue.