ASH students celebrate World Poetry Day

ASH students celebrated one of humanity’s most treasured forms of expression.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:12 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:41 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - March 21 is World Poetry Day, celebrating one of humanity’s most treasured forms of expression.

World Poetry Day was started by UNESCO in 1999 with the aim of “supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.”

At Alexandria Senior High School, students celebrated the day by reciting poems, singing songs and playing instruments in the school’s library, decorated as a swanky, dimly-lit coffee shop during an event called ‘Books, Blues and Brews.’

“We generally have students who will step up to the microphone who aren’t the students you always see in front of an audience, and they come out of their shell,” said Nancy Gingras, ASH librarian, former speech teacher and organizer of the event. “They share with us some of their inner feelings and things that are on their minds that maybe they aren’t comfortable talking about, but through the means of poetry they feel like they are able to speak to their student body and friends in a different way than they normally do.”

Senior Dashawn Cooper recited an original poem titled ‘Friendzone,’ which concerns relationships.

“I like you and all, but you’re more like a brother to me. I really like you as a friend, and I hope we can still be friends, but really and truly, you’re just too nice, and nice guys always finish last,” said Cooper reading from his poem book.

He said writing poetry is a way for him to express himself and find strength in his experiences.

“It makes me feel like I have so much inner strength that I never thought I had,” said Cooper.

Sophomore student Poppy Abouharib sang ‘And I Love Her’ by The Beatles. She said poetry and songwriting are one and the same for her and are equally as artistically expressive to her.

“I think it’s important for people to see the poetry in music, just because it’s sung with beats and music does not mean it’s not a poem,” said Abouharib.

Gingras said she would hold similar events during her speech classes in the past, but now that she is the librarian, she is able to include more students in the event and have them share their talents with their peers.

“Some of these students are just remarkable in their ability to write great poetry,” said Gingras. “Their singing ability and the students we had this morning playing guitar and singing, students I didn’t know had those talents. It’s really nice because we’re up close and personal with them in a small setting, and we get to see those talents they have.”

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