the awful days*

August 11, 2019

2019 Merit Award
By Adam McClusky, Grade 11
after Lord Alfred Tennyson

he clasps the crag with crooked hands close to the sun
in the lonely lands far away from everyone’s beef
enjoying the time alone from the people that annoyed
him the most not craving each pestering pitch that
came out during his day and the odd but pitiful
repeated days wondering how they’re going on with
their Day from the selfishness insecure ways with the
weird vibes given off each day crying for one of his
friends to ask him about his day but that won’t change
so he’ll just stay clasped with his crooked hands close
to the sun in the lonely lands not forgetting a bit
but smiling and laughing about those awful

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Adam McClusky. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

. . . . .
i go to Squalicum high school. I play football i also wrestle and went to state for wrestling. I didn’t really like English but now i like it a little more.

i got my inspiration from the guy in the office that no one likes like in the movies. So he just isn’t noticed and just wants people to notice him.


March 8, 2017

Congratulations to Poetry Out Loud Washington state winner Addi Garner (above, center, in striped shirt), a junior at Anacortes High School, who took top honors with her recitations of Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy by Thomas Lux, Possible Answers to Prayer by Scott Cairns, and The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Julian Dow, from Naches High School in Naches, was named Runner Up. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Lizette Harris, Life Christian Academy in Tacoma; Amir Matheney, Olympia High School in Olympia; and Drew Shipman, Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon.

Addi earned a $200 award and an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Poetry Out Loud competition to be held April 25-26. Her school receives a stipend of $500 to purchase poetry books.

The panel of judges at the 2017 state final included Sarah Brauner, a graduate student at the University of Puget Sound and student teacher at Stadium High School in Tacoma; Ginger Ewing, a Spokane arts advocate/organizer and ArtsWA board member; Paul Goudarzi-Fry, a senior at the University of Puget Sound; Priti Joshi, a professor of English at the University of Puget Sound; Tod Marshall, the 2016-18 Washington State Poet Laureate and Gonzaga University Humanities Professor; Christina Nguyen, the Youth Speaks Seattle and Teen Leadership Coordinator for Arts Corps; and Kris Tucker, former executive director of ArtsWA.

Watch Addi Garner reciting her third round poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

on poetry

August 6, 2015

Alfred Lord Tennyson“I am a part of all that I have met.”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
(August 6, 1809 – October 6, 1892)
. . . . .
1869 Carbon print by Julia Margaret Cameron

quote from “Ulysses”

poetry underfoot

September 16, 2014

Tennyson - The Two Voices

What would Alfred, Lord Tennyson say?

The Two Voices,” written when Tennyson was just 24, is a 462-line conversation made up of rhymed tercets. In the poem, two voices attempt to persuade one another of the merits of grief, suicide, faith, loss of faith, despair and hope.

From this intense and rather dark exchange, the British Museum, in London, has inscribed a portion of one stanza in the floor of the Great Court — a fragment that betrays nothing of the poem’s subject or form.

This is the complete tercet, which appears about a quarter of the way into the poem:

Forerun thy peers, thy time, and let
Thy feet, millenniums hence, be set
In midst of knowledge, dream’d not yet.

The space is grand, the sentiment museum-appropriate. What would Tennyson say?
. . . . .
photo by Jon Spence

Benjamin Britten Commemorative 50p CoinWhen we mentioned Tom Phillips nearly two years ago, his epic altered-book project, A Humument, A Treated Victorian Novel, was in its fourth edition. Now in its fifth edition (and, incidentally, on display until January 20, 2014, at MassMOCA, in the Berkshires, should you be leaf-peeping this year), the work is just one of the artist’s projects.

More recently Phillips has found his way to the Royal Mint, where he selected a line from the Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem The Princess: The Splendour Falls on Castle Walls to mark a commemorative seven-sided 50p coin honoring the hundred-year anniversary of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten (November 22, 1913 – December 4, 1976). Britten set Tennyson’s words to music in his Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, and now Phillips has added “Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying” to the “tails” side of the newly-issued British coin.

Read the full story in The Guardian. More on Poem in Your Pocket Day (each year during National Poetry Month).
. . . . .

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