Student Poetry

If you would like to have a poem posted, please consider the following guidelines:

  • All submissions must be by e-mail
  • Poems must be proofread perfectly - grammar, punctuation, capitals, spacing, should be exactly as intended
  • No anonymous poems
  • Three poem maximum per student.
  • Save any profanities for your own personal collection
  • Savor your rejection slips to throw in my face when you become famous


  • READ lots of good poetry by lots of good poets.
  • If you think "old fashioned" poetry is boring, start reading some of it.
  • Experiment with different forms as are described in "Glossary of Poetic Terms."
  • LISTEN to your poems and consider deeply the meaning of rhythm, meter, and cadence.
  • Let IMAGES carry your meaning.
  • Be as HONEST as you are able, as you move from emotion and idea to word and sound.
  • Reach for the tricky BALANCE between a forceful compression and a natural voice.
  • Keep a NOTEBOOK on you to jot down the phrases that come to you on the wind.
  • A TUNEFUL PHRASE can quickly reveal a poem.
  • A real EMOTION, however slight, can give birth to a poem.
  • Every word is not sacred: Prune and Pare and Park.

    Jessica Wile and Kent Smith ('03) have very Chaucer-like additions to the Tabard crew

    The Game Keeper A 31st Canterbury Character

    There was a game keeper among the crowd.
    His matted hair was black, his voice was loud.
    He gave the king and friends a joyous time
    Of hunting game, like deer, just in their prime.
    And if the king had made a wealthy catch,
    Then at the head of table Lawrence sat.
    Of numbers great did think him fine and swell
    The Knight, the Squire, the Reeve, the cook as well,
    Was always mindful when it came to game.
    Inventions for the sport were never lame.
    One Squire thought him so mighty, O so grand,
    For catching dozen poachers on his land.
    His job involved the breeding of new stock
    To keep the numbers up in pheasant flocks.
    Good Lawrence always said his claim to fame
    Was - use the game to keep them entertained.
    And now he rides a horse built for his style
    And off to Canterbury - fifty mile!

    -Jessica Wile ('03)

    The Gypsy: A 32nd Canterbury Character

    A Gypsy woman prideful young and fair,
    with eyes like fire and luscious coal black hair,
    Did come with us along the winding trail.
    Her pace would be enjoyed by any snail.
    Her long gray cloak it gave but only a taste,
    of such a lovely face, oh what a waste.
    Her endless omens cause for good and bad,
    she came quite near to driving us all mad!
    Her endless chatter spoke of growing fat.
    Her potions were for this and charms for that.
    Her fortune made she far and near in towns,
    With potions, charms and laughter, ne'er with frowns.
    Her wit as quick as any have I seen,
    I could ne'er have seen all the ways she's been.
    In all the time we traveled 'long the way,
    There was no frown that she did cast my way.
    Her horse and cart were poor. For all her penny
    it seems like both had seen a year too many.

    Kent Smith Ď03

    Sebastian Margarit ('01)seems to have caught a poetry virus and here is but one of his many intricate submissions this year:

    A fire broods of fallen autumn leaves.
    They quickly burn from simple sparks of light.
    Black soot no longer life nor spark receives--
    Does only smother other sparks with blight.

    A spark is struck with filling fuel of mind:
    At first it dies and gains no fiery life,
    But then reborn, and spirit double signed,
    It kindled flames eternal love of strife.

    Both flames with heat do comfort and fulfill
    The one who in her hands holds flint and stone.
    Though fire comes from other places still,
    It does no other place than here dethrone.

    When burning choice be made from fires two
    Which move the ash, and burn the fire true.

    This rich sonnet is by Meaghan Thurston who graduates in 2001.

    The World in White Spectacle

    A winding shroud of snow wraps field and tree,
    So silent, still, like birds in gliding flight
    Whose shadows cast with icy wings on sea
    And land, spread restful peace of winter's night.

    When crystal droplets hang from branches bare
    To catch the strands of moonlight soft and low
    As if to mourn the fall of seasons fair,
    Old Winter hides sweet grass and buds in snow.

    Yet frozen death is birth in white disguise
    As hilltops shine so bright in moonlight pale;
    The world is made anew before my eyes;
    Oh see the snow so smooth like tall shipís sails.

    And as the birds alight on powdered tree;
    The feel of winterís peace takes flight in me.

    This sonnet is by Susan Marshall, a grade 12 student in the 2001 ARHS class. (Isn't it lovely?)

    A Lullaby

    "To sleep, to sleep my precious baby boy
    While love and hope bring rest and peacefulness,
    Go dream, go dream of pleasures and of joy
    And I will sing my song of happiness..."

    ...How softly sings the mother to her child
    Who dreams so peacefully, tucked deep in sleep,
    To God a prayer is sent, a plea so mild
    And cherubim descend, his soul to keep.

    So still with heavenly angels 'side his bed,
    Who rock him gently with their lullaby.
    They'll stay to watch and guard his sweet, sweet head;
    They'll stay to watch and guard 'till morn is nigh.

    He'll sleep so quietly throughout the night
    He'll sleep so silently till morning light.

    Drew Miller ('00)

    Sonnet for a Lawyer

    For years we slave and sacrifice our days
    With time that's lost and never is retrieved.
    Beneath piled paper stacked up like a maze
    We try to act like we are not deceived.

    Ignoring feelings we had once embraced
    And hiding them inside a mental shell,
    The best of us must feel the least disgraced;
    The worst must feel like they have been through hell.

    The days of love and peace have long been through: Replaced by greed and power in our minds.
    Someone that should be helped we try to sue
    And men now sell whate'er they seem to find.

    To live a life of luxury and lies
    Could mean a man is dead before he dies.

    Drew Miller (April 2000)

    Samantha Legere ('00)

    Fire, Water, Earth and Air
    Take me and show me what is there:
    Behind the thistled brimstone tree
    Is where you shall reveal to me
    The power within your ancient arts
    That can control and move within our hearts.
    The passions unfold into your heat
    Rhyming and singing within a beat
    That places a mask above the pain,
    For we donít want you to be sane;
    But, for you, elements to pose
    As simple as a garden rose
    Is simply to fear the true belief
    That love is not a simple motif.

    Samantha is a grade twelve student, class of 2000.

    William Lang ('00)

    The Mourning World

    The world cries out; help!,
    No one listens.
    Stop hurting me with your ways,
    No one listens.
    Stop polluting my lungs, and killing my body,
    No one listens.
    Stop ripping away my skin and life saving shield,
    No one listens.
    Don't you realize if I die you die,
    No one listens.
    I feel my life coming to an abrupt end,
    No one listens.
    It's getting hot, must be the sickness,
    No one listens.
    I feel the infections spreading through me,
    No one listens.
    Technology, Industry; I hate them both,
    No one listens.
    You'll pay *cough* for this, I *cough* swear it,
    No one listens.
    You'll all..... silence.
    Too late to listen.

    Alisa Dupuis

    Map of the Road

    The map of the road
    That they travel together
    Starts to fall apart, ending never
    In the battle of life, forever struggling
    Fighting in their own world
    They fall and start tumbling
    At one glance
    They see a sparkle
    In each other's eyes
    A glare of love
    Rekindles their life
    The map of the road
    That they travel together
    Mends itself back together, FOREVER!

    Star Gazing

    I'm wishing on a star
    to find out where you are.
    I'm wishing on a dream
    To show me what this means.

    Star light, Star bright
    Help me see my love this night
    Wish I may, Wish I might
    Let us have a perfect night.

    I'm wishing on a rainbow
    To let me know
    I'm wishing the sea
    Hoping it will be.

    Star light, Star bright
    Help me find my true love tonight
    Wish I may, Wish I might
    Let us be alone tonight.

    I'm wishing on the sun
    To find out what I've done;
    I'm wishing on tomorrow's prayers
    To let me go.

    Star light, Star bright
    Please don't let him hold me too tight
    Wish I may, Wish I might
    Keep him far way tonight
    Wish I may, Wish I might
    Have this wish I'm wishing tonight.

    Dawn Creighton

    Sonnet 2

    With wind that plays so gently with my hair,
    When waves creep up beneath my tired feet,
    The lovers' sun falls low and so I stare,
    And ask why life to me is incomplete.

    Is love the lacking force on which they thrive?
    Is faith where they find answers lurking near?
    Is God a myth that we need to survive?
    Without faith death, before explained, is fear.

    Are youth and beauty gifts with little time?
    Am I destined to weaken and to fade?
    My mind, after my death, no longer mine?
    A Privilege received when I was made?

    The sun is almost gone now from the sky;
    The light is bright, then fades and slowly dies.

    -Dawn Creighton (October 1998)

    Michael Allen

    "These first two poems are personal favorites of mine, while the third is my most popular one (among teen-agers)."


    I sit here, on this bench of sturdy steel
    And I watch strangers pass me by.
    None see me, of course, they cannot;
    I am invisible to their blind eye.

    As I turn my gaze from one face to the next,
    I note the eyes of this young girl upon me.
    I feel myself grow excited at the sight;
    Perhaps, I think, this one can be taught to see.

    But no, before I can approach
    She is taken from my eyes
    And I know we will not meet again;
    These halls echo silent good-byes.

    A young man in a wheelchair giggles,
    And I know that he has seen,
    But he is silenced by his keepers,
    I left to wonder what might have been.

    Is this the life that I must lead;
    As unnoticed as unmoving stone?
    forever in darkness do they walk,
    And until they see, I am alone.


    Remembering in sadness
    The times that we have shared
    Laughing in narcotic bliss;
    If only we had not dared.

    Sitting here by your bed,
    I think of what has come to pass;
    You, with a bullet in your head,
    Your mind a pain of shattered glass.

    Now I have no will to live;
    The time has come for me to end,
    And if, by death, you can forgive,
    I'll wait for you, my friend.

    Dead Skunk

    Dead skunk,
    Lying there
    in the ditch,
    Face-down in water,
    No scent.

    Tired little thing,
    Among the reeds
    It sleeps,
    Awaiting dawn that doesn't come.
    Tomorrow it is gone;
    The scavengers eat well this night.

    I would welcome any suggestions at

    -Michael Allen

    Wanda Lewis

    "I like poems that use words that I thought could not be used in such a way"

    Wanda was a hearing-impaired student who attended my classes with a sign translator. I was enormously impressed by Wanda's ability to follow the signer and watch me at the same time. Not only did Wanda persevere, she made honours and won the English Prize! These three poems are dated because they show a kind of passage taking place. Consider deeply, too, the rhythmical qualities of these poems.

    Turn Around

    Naked trees shivering
    Dancing fire burning
    Cold rain crying
    Black sun shining
    Chills rising over heaven
    Weeping for the scars in the ground,
    Soon healing in time
    Innocents have found the light
    Fallen angels can not fly
    Until they find the way back
    Bitter pain disappearing in the ocean
    Washing all its sins
    Renewing the words that have been spoken
    Smiling stars laughing
    Echoing winds singing
    Calm seas flowing
    Music heard from heaven
    Passion, wisdom, glory
    Gentle voices whispering
    There is more than just nothing.

    Dec12 1997

    The Laughter and the Silence

    Laughter heard in the distance
    Rage rising within me;
    Stand in my place, do not move -
    Not one step further or back-
    Heart striking, tempted tongue,
    Closed hands, knees locked, will fade...
    Disappear within my senses.
    I am afraid of the time
    I have left, trying to figure
    Should I laugh or express my frown.
    Nothing makes sense, sight can be fooled
    Hearing can be lied, words can be repeated.
    Afraid of them - never!
    I have not learned to fear, yet.
    And defeated the demons.
    Silence in my mouth and soul,
    Worthless - they are, blind fools;
    Ahead of them
    Strength - I fear, and silence, too.
    Those who know - knew
    That I'd be the one left standing
    And smiling. I have won.
    Demons are weak.
    Trust my senses, faith rises.
    I won in my mind and soul
    I won.

    January 1998


    Lonely, sad face wandering through every sunshine
    Walked on, crushed by thousands who smile,
    Has found its peace in the quiet shade.

    Sitting so calm, wondering when to expose
    My wanted self, soon I will exit,
    On my way, find another place to feel extinct.

    Pain means nothing to me - they think
    I am in a mourning of my own thoughts
    Which die in a rose, now a thorn.

    Time vanishes before me; rage has claimed
    Those weak minds, forced it to lose control.
    I stand strong, overcoming any rage that climbs.

    Misery has its price, too high
    For my mortal rights; feeling the heat
    From the sky, shall my wounds heal?

    I, a sad face, soon rise over others.
    I, a thorn, will win over others.
    I, now a rose, am stronger than others.

    February(?) 1998

    Justin Siddall

    [This was written as an exercise imitating George Herbert's entropic rhymes]


    Enclosed was fruit, a small round grape
    The sight withdrew my urge like rape.
    And shame, I saw myself an ape.

    The visions struck me hard, the stake
    Has drawn me back again to take,
    And all because of a belly ache.

    With food in hand I consummate,
    The taste and smell begin to mate,
    And drove me mad and so I ate.

    It drew me close with smell and charm,
    I know with snacks they cause me harm
    In failure seek new means to arm.

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