Villanelles on virus: Students share feelings through poetry

Senior+Molly+Norton+presents+her+project+to+Mrs.+Woodings+AP+Literature+class+during+a+lesson.+

Photo by Kait Bedell

Senior Molly Norton presents her project to Mrs. Wooding’s AP Literature class during a lesson.

 

In AP Literature & Composition we occasionally produce some original creative work (most of what we do is analytical) in order to never forget a specific, fixed poetic form. In the fall we composed sonnets, and recently we tried our hands at villanelles. These are traditional, nineteen-line poems that have a musical repetitive, circular quality to them. Our inspiration for these were Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas and The Waking by Theodore Roethke. I know that, while my students may not be able to name every type of poem, they will always recognize sonnets and villanelles just as they will always look back at 2020 and remember exactly how they felt about the unique challenges they faced this year. Art in all of its forms can be such a magical escape from harsh reality as well as a powerful tool for processing all of the thoughts that weigh upon us. 

 

Social Distancing

 

My life has become boring on repeat. 

My days are spent sitting online,

But I have not yet accepted defeat.  

 

I haven’t seen friends, I don’t feel complete. 

I work all day to make each deadline.

My life has become boring on repeat.

 

I miss the days of being an athlete.

Rising cases are always my headline,

But I have not yet accepted defeat.

 

Countless walks up and down my street,

What has become of mankind?

My life has become boring on repeat.

 

Maintaining six feet is no easy feat.

FaceTime has become my only lifeline,

But I have not yet accepted defeat.

 

Our senior year has become bittersweet.

False hopes of an ending quarantine. 

My life has become boring on repeat,

But I have not yet accepted defeat.

 

By Peter Misiaszek, Will Kemball-Cook, Dylan Hotter, Jay Hayes

 

I Hate Coronavirus

A life before Coronavirus is what I seek

I can’t see my friends and this makes me sad

I am stuck inside the house every day of the week 

 

The workload is tiring, I am not a homework freak

With plenty of distractions my procrastination is bad 

A life before Coronavirus is what I seek

 

My senior year had not yet reached its peak 

No more fun activities before I am a grad

I am stuck inside the house every day of the week

 

Everyone else telling my that my senior year is unique 

The people telling me I can’t be upset make me mad

A life before Coronavirus is what I seek

 

I wish I could take advantage of cheap flights to Mozambique

But what stops me is the fear of spreading a disease to a grandad 

I am stuck inside the house every day of the week

 

The rest of the year is looking quite bleak

No more adventures to be had

A life before Coronavirus is what I seek 

I am stuck inside the house every day of the week

By Erin Batchelor

 

RONA SEASON

 

I caught the corona feels

Got me feelin’ some type of way

Been binge eating unhealthy meals

 

Our wounds after will need heals

Wishing there was something someone could do or say

For all of the fun activities rona steals

 

Everyone has lost their zeals

Missing our normal day

Can’t even bargain deals

 

No more lacrosse squeals

Our senior year hope led astray

The whole thing feels surreal

 

This for the class of 2020 isn’t ideal

The circumstances are a little cray

This has been quite the ordeal

 

We will soon heal

The sad feelings won’t always stay

We need to keep rolling like a wheel 

We can all agree this is unreal

 

By Kait Bedell & Molly Norton

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