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Poetry Contest: Stories through another language

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Hnouci Lee, News and Sports Editor
March 1, 2012
Filed under News

A perfect Hmong daughter. A love that has never been real. A summer that will never be forgotten. These were the subjects of the winning poems in this year’s Harding poetry contest. Poetry can be revealed through figurative language, or it can be right to the point.
Wennicha Yang, a junior and the first place winner, entered the poetry contest to test out her skills in writing and poetry. Her poem comes with a story, like a message that needed to be delivered.

Scattered Pieces
by Wennicha Yang

Into the mirror I see a woman with long black hair and beautiful brown eyes.
She has pale tan skin and a bright smile.
I see myself.

Before me
My reflection is changed into an old woman.
Her hair is pinned up and her face had fine lines.
She wears her favorite flower printed shirt and stretchy black capris.
I call her grandma.

I look into her eyes and she gives me a smile.
We converse but the conversation ends short.
I realize that I am low on vocabulary
And I’m afraid to make a mistake.
I keep quiet, unsure of what else to say.

A quick glimpse into her eyes,
Immediately I am engaged in her vision.
A barrier has been driven
From her generation to mine.

“The poem is mainly about a Hmong girl who’s pressured to become the perfect Hmong daughter,” said Yang. “She sees her grandma as she’s reflected across from her in the mirror, not because her grandma really portrays her, but because her grandmother is the type of person she’s pressured to become.”
Yang took first place in the poetry contest; Danh Nguyen, a senior, took second; and Samantha Peel, a sophomore, third place. Matt Benson, Nikki LeMay, and Nakita C. Vang received honorable mentions.
“I felt really accomplished because I don’t think of myself as a poet,” said Nguyen. “I’ve always struggled with poetry, so winning this was mind-blowing for me. Also I was glad that the judges could feel the emotion I put in this poem.”

Love Lies
By Danh Nguyen

Love is adulation
just very pointless Affection
A Infection
starts with a Confession
will end up with a Rejection
Correction
You will maybe find a Connection

Teachers are always encouraging students to participate in essay and poetry contest’. Some participate because extra credit was involved or just merely because they felt it would benefit them.
“My Creative Writing teacher, Ms. Schultz, was hounding our class to participate,” said Peel. “I basically did it for her. She was really into it. ‘No harm in just submitting one,’ is what she said so, I decided to enter.”
Sometimes when a person can’t tell a friend something too personal, some people choose to express their feelings and stories through poetry. Some people make it rhyme and others tell a story but in a poem structure.

The Hottest Summer Yet
By Samantha Peel

Somewhere there’s a girl
Weeping on her front step
Bracing herself forth hottest summer yet.
Watching as her mom and best friend ride off in the minivan.
She calls him. He’s made it so her heart is made of glass.
Now watch, the first tear sheds.
Million will follow.
She pleads for an answer.
“Don’t forget me,” she begs.
Her brother shows up.
The glass shatters.

“All I really wanted was an honorable mention, but I ended up getting 3rd place,” said Peel. “I do encourage people to participate in the poetry contest because it really helped me with my writing skills.”
Wennicha said, “With or without [the encouragement from teachers], I would have entered because I wanted to see if writing could be a possible career I could go into. You never know until you try.”

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