Featured with Robert Pinsky, Former US Poet Laureate

Robert Pinsky

Poem With Lines in Any Order

Sonny said, Then he shouldn’t have given Molly the two more babies.
Dave’s sister and her husband adopted the baby, and that was Babe.
You can’t live in the past.
Sure he was a tough guy but he was no hero.
Sonny and Toots went to live for a while with the Braegers.
It was a time when it seemed like everybody had a nickname.
Nobody can live in the future.
When Rose died having Babe, Dave came after the doctor with a gun.
Toots said, What would you expect, he was a young man
and there she was
Sonny still a kid himself when Dave moved out on Molly.
The family gave him Rose’s cousin Molly to marry so she could raise the children.
There’s no way to just live in the present.
In their eighties Toots and sonny still arguing about their father.
Dave living above the bar with Della and half the family.

"Poem With Lines in Any Order" is the transcript of Robert Pinsky's reading at LHS's book launch event 05/24/11. It appears in SELECTED POEMS by Robert Pinsky. . Copyright by Robert Pinsky.

Nur Akkurt

For Langston Hughes: a response to "March Moon"

My nakedness is dazzling,

It’s really quite divine,

My light is like a smooth caress

With which you intertwine.

To blush would be such foolishness,

In this I have no doubt.

My curved physique will do no harm,

What’s all the fuss about?

The clouds are my apprentices,

I hold them all quite dear,

They wrap themselves around my waist,

A daunting veil so sheer.

I cast a light upon the seas,

My beauty knows no bounds.

My presence is mysterious,

But also quite profound.


With an opalescent brilliance

And a silhouette so fair

I gaze upon your lonely planet,

At no time do I glare.

I soothe your young with silent songs

and wondrous lullabies,

I heal the wounds and mend the cuts

That come with strife and lies.

Revoke your hurtful words,

Put your prejudice aside.

The only thing I wish to do

Is grace the eveningtide.

Alan Bartels

Curse of a Dictionary

Upon my thirteenth birthday
My parents thought to buy
The Complete Oxford English Dictionary
To expand my vocabulary thereby

Hoping to make my conversation more intelligent
With the potential to help me on language tests.
Little did they know this development
Would lead me to annoy their guests.

I came upon a newfound love of words complex and long
As they solved my abecedary vacillations
Soon making me the cynosure of any gathered throng.

I would throw mismatched words in to common conversation,
For the purpose of enjoying people’s reaction,
Grousing the burger as “callipygian”,
Or complaining about the vitriolic weather of our region.

I began to develop acrasia, eventually spiraling out of control,
As my time as a deipnosophist landed me in a hole.
Now my OED sits gathering dust on my shelves
Waiting to pass on its curse to one stricken by the wordy urge to delve.

Winnie Chang


Wish for the words
That you can't speak,
Hush for the song
That you can't sing,
Confide in stars
You can't believe,
Linger for grief
You just can't leave,
Live to hope for
Another day.

Fight for the name
That you can't say,
Cradle the pulse of
Notes you can't hear,
Chase the echoes of
Dreams you can't see,
Taste the hot rain
Your hands can't grasp,
Swallow the chance
You can't regret,
Live for the ones
You can't bring back.

Breathe in the courage
You can't hold in,
Hear your heartbeat racing
Even after you're breathless

With words you never had to say.

Jason Stein


The map: taped to the side of the desk
Yellowing, curled and cracked around the edges.
Clearly outdated; the USSR a faded stain across Asia
most of Africa still labeled "French Colonies."
Strange to think, this was once the world.
Gone before I was born.
Stranger yet, what will the next generation think?
Will they look at our maps and wonder how
The "United States" could have ever been united?
Or will the maps one day be all one color, no borders in between?

Sara Wichlei

January 24th, 1996

You did what you did fifteen years ago out of
Pure love and strength.
But you missed out on so much,
My first words, steps, days of school
My first everything.
I got ten days with you, the most amazing days of my life
I've met you in my dreams,
So many times imagining what I would say.
It's curious to love someone you don't know,
But I promise you, I do.
I only want to make you proud of me
To hear you say, "I love you,"
To find my missing half.

You trusted another family to raise and to love me
And it wasn't a mistake.
I have a great life here
And now, fifteen years later
I want you to know one thing
Even if we never meet
I love you.


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.