Poetry Slam brings emotion, rhythm


Teachers and students filled the library for the school’s first Poetry Slam before going on Winter Break. Young poets and musicians took the courage of standing in front of a crowd to tell their fellow classmates who they really are. Performing everything from original poems to known songs, these artists revealed what lies within them.

Mrs. Darcy Bechtel, the school’s librarian, started the Poetry Slam as a new way for students to express themselves.

“We have orchestra, we have guitar, we have dance, we have sports, we have speech and debate, we’ve got theatre, we have the writing group, we have journalism, and poetry is another way to communicate with others,” Bechtel explained.

Last year, Bechtel invited English classes to the library to watch the national poetry slam. Noticing that students showed an interest in doing this, Bechtel opened the door for poets to perform in a afterschool Poetry Slam. 

Freshman Noa Bowser took this opportunity to reveal his thoughts.

“I have always been a huge fan of poetry and I enjoy sharing the stuff I write with people,” Bowser said. “I feel emotional at a time about something usually like whatever I’m thinking and I make a song out of it. And I take that and I keep rewriting it, rewriting it, rewriting it, until it sounds melodic to me. And then that’s when I have it done.”

He explained his poems: “ID,” “Divine,” and “Flight of the Broken Bird,” reflected his inner feelings, saying that the best thing about poetry is getting to share his personal opinions with someone else. Yet, he also said the worst thing is the possibility of being hurt by an audience who may disagree with him. However, nothing stopped Bowser from writing poems about self exploration and strength.

“The only thing I was thinking the whole time was that I wanted to help people. Because a lot of people are like me with issues from the past,” said sophomore Carla Mueller.

After her performance, Mueller discovered that the audience was crying as a result of her poem titled: “What and Why”. She explained that many of them went up and thanked her for the poem she read. Presenting another poem, “Love”, she found that again her works touched the audience’s hearts.   The poems dealt with Mueller’s struggle overcoming past issues, reminding the audience of similar problems they may have faced and the process of moving on from them.

Nica Bautista, Nicole Rojas, Abigail Tamre and Sieban Woldergiorgish also participated in the Poetry Slam. Playing “Derniere Danse” by Indila, this freshmen group were the  sole musicians in the show.

“We played a French song and I played the ukulele. It was hard to learn the chords at first but after, it got easy and now it’s easy to play,” Rojas said.

“It was really easy working together because we’re friends. We were trying something new, since we were singing a song in a different language. I think it went well,” Tamre explained.

“I felt I was going to mess up in the guitar part but I did pretty well,” Woldergiorgish said.

“It was very nerve wracking, especially in front of my french teacher and strangers that could clearly hear my voice when performing,” Bautista said.

Luckily, all of the poets and musicians had friends and family come to support them during the potentially frightening event. Though  Bautista explained that whenever she became nervous, she looked at the people around her and in the crowd and realized that she was surrounded by her friends, which gave her more confidence.

“I don’t know what’s going on in your world. You don’t know what’s going on in mine, except for what you see,” Mrs. Bechtel said. “Most of us try to put together a solid image of ourselves. But it that what’s really going on in your heart and head? I’m so impressed and blown away by people who will share and they’re not afraid. Every single person who performed by a poem piece or music were so calm and centered and grounded and they did such a beautiful job. And if they were nervous, you couldn’t tell at all. I think it’s just awesome and amazing. To see someone else’s strengths and courage gives me strength and courage too.”