Poetry week aims to provide artistic outlet for South

Aakash Bhojwani, assistant a&e editor

“Had we but world enough, and time, this coyness, lady, were no crime.” According to Dr. Tom Kucharski, English instructional supervisor, Andrew Marvell’s poem “To His Coy Mistress”, which is about a man trying to talk a woman into dating him, not only made him laugh and think but also sounded beautiful to him. Kucharski says that this is just one of many poems that has impacted him and from April 24-28, Poetry Week at South will aim to celebrate poetry and engage students.

According to English Teacher Debbie Cohen, Poetry Week will contain several events including an open mic where students will be able to read a poem in front of an audience and poetry workshops where students will have an opportunity to work with published poets. According to Kucharski, students having an opportunity to explore poetry has several benefits.

“Poetry […] provides students with opportunities as readers to read critically and as writers to be really creative,”  Kucharski said. “A lot of us in the [English] Department use poetry as a way to inspire creativity in students. Students usually tend to be really obsessed with finishing assignments and what working on poetry does is slow them down and get them to think about how they, more creatively, can establish some kind of idea or truth or concept.”

Senior Al Solecki says that she is passionate about poetry, and during her freshman year, she started a poetry slam at South. She believes that it is important that South celebrates poetry because students don’t always give poetry a chance.

“I think that it’s really cool that we do celebrate [poetry] just because sometimes I feel poetry can be underestimated and not really taken for full value, because people just don’t really give it a chance,” Solecki said. “Sometimes [poetry] can seem kind of flowery or topical, but there [are] really a lot of interesting and beautiful things that people do with poetry […]. I think encouraging students to discover that is really awesome.”

During Poetry Week, senior students’ favorite poems will be hung around the school. According to Kucharski, having poems displayed around the building will hopefully lead to students coming across a poem that they love and remember for a long time. Senior Katie Woodrick says she selected the poem “Tadpole” by Andrea Gibson as her favorite poem because the poem’s message really resonated with her.

“[The poem] kind of contradicts the norm,” Woodrick said. “Mainly, it [speaks about] finding power in yourself to do something rather than depending on other people or other figures or other things to go your way.”

Solecki believes that poetry is an effective way to cultivate ideas that are worth sharing. She says that writing poetry has become an important aspect of her life because it allows her to explore different things that she can do with words and see how they affect people.

“Poetry, to me, means a space where I can express the things I think and the things I feel in a way that is […] constructive, beautiful, meaningful and communicates clearly to others in a way that I can’t always do when I’m having a simple conversation,” Solecki said.​