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MHS Students Share Heartfelt Responses to Create Poem Wall

posted Dec 15, 2016, 5:25 AM by Richard Barden   [ updated Dec 15, 2016, 12:47 PM ]
Writing and reading poetry are time-tested traditions that help connect us. Today, mental health professionals endorse poetry as something that can strengthen communities, diminish an individual’s sense of isolation, and build empathy.

In all MHS English classes, students read Langston Hughes’s “Theme for English B.” In the poem, an instructor asks his students to provide a writing sample, saying, “let that page come out of you—/Then it will be true.” The narrator’s response is a brave and heartfelt introduction to who he is, including his fears and sense of isolation.

Our students discussed how writing allows the poet to release pent-up emotions in a healthy way and how reading allows the reader to feel connected—and not alone in his/her own problems.

Students were then invited to contribute to a school-wide poem-writing activity, in which each student would respond anonymously to one of two questions: “What are you most afraid of?” or “What are you ashamed of?”

The responses are posted in the main hallway and collectively share who we are.

We know that teenagers are often afraid to voice their fears and can feel challenged by the new emotions that come with their age.
Thank you to English teacher, Bud Jennings, and the entire English Department for spearheading this project.