• Patton poets share their sonnets, verses

  • April is National Poetry Month and Patton Junior High School students celebrated by sharing some of their own poetry during the Patton Poetry Jam April 24 in the school library. The event featured nine students reading their poems and one student providing music.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    April is National Poetry Month and Patton Junior High School students celebrated by sharing some of their own poetry during the Patton Poetry Jam April 24 in the school library. The event featured nine students reading their poems and one student providing music.
    National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.
    Since the beginning of the schoolyear, the students have been learning about poetry, studying different poets and writing their own poems in different styles, including haikus, free verse, concrete poems and sonnets.
    “(Poetry) gives (students) the ability to express themselves in a different manner,” said Megan Hall, Patton eighth- and ninth-grade English teacher. “Especially at this age, it is huge to be able to express yourself. Just putting words down on paper, even if you don’t have that rhyme scheme, helps you think through and process issues or whatever it is you’re trying to work on.
    “Giving them the free verse poem is huge because they don’t have those limitations and that helps them to feel as though they can just write and be heard,” she said.
    One of the main poets the students have studied throughout the year is English poet and playwright William Shakespeare.
    “William Shakespeare, who is such a staple, he is the one who has written or created so many of our words and our phrases that we use, so I think it is imperative for us to understand that type of poetic language, and the kids really get into it,” Hall said. “As a student, it is crucial that you have to understand the basics of the English language before you can do anything else, so (poetry) helps build their thought process, their ability to analyze what is being stated or how to say things in whichever tone they wish to state it in.”
    Shakespeare proved to be a popular poet among some of the students.
    “Shakespeare has a very unique way of making poems,” said 16-year-old Aidan Fuller, Patton ninth-grader. “Some of his poems can be super happy and the others everybody just dies.”
    Fuller read a concrete poem about his little brother entitled, “Little One.”
    “My mom, her water broke at 17 weeks, so he was in the (newborn intensive care unit) for 96 days, so this is about him,” Fuller said. “(Poetry) has helped me show feelings that I can’t usually show.”
    Fourteen-year-old Samantha Andersen, Patton ninth-grader, said she has always loved Shakespeare.
    “I’m a theater nerd, so William Shakespeare has always been my cup of tea,” Andersen said. “I think reading poetry and writing it, I’ve gained more of a love for English and it has just helped me grow as a person.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Andersen read a sonnet that she wrote about her best friends entitled “Three is the Magic Number.”
    “I love sonnets and the complexity of them,” she said. “There are so many rules, and if you don’t follow them, it is not a sonnet.”
    Fifteen-year-old Taylor O’Brien, Patton ninth-grader, said she appreciates Shakespeare’s structure.
    “I like all the rules,” she said. “I’m definitely a structured person, so the structure and format of his poems I really enjoy.”
    O’Brien read her poem “The Sealed Hole.”
    “It is one of my more recent ones where I can see that I’ve grown from (the beginning of the year),” O’Brien said. “Poetry is something where you can be honest while still hiding the truth… I definitely feel like I’ve been able to open up more with my friends and family because of the poems I’ve written.”
    Hall said she hoped the students learned at least one thing in sharing their poetry.
    “I’m also a debate teacher, so I want them to be able to express their feelings and learn that speaking is freeing,” she said. “Being able to just stand up and express yourself is very freeing.”
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