Students’ Creativity Shines with Poetry Inspired by the Masters

When the pandemic struck, many turned to creative outlets to stay occupied and calm during the long months of quarantine. Some people painted. Others turned to dance or photography or music. 

Some began to write.

Among the latter were students in Professor Gina Negrin’s EN221 "Literary Criticism and Analysis" course during this semester’s May module.

The following free verse poems were written by students who were inspired, moved, and intrigued by three well-known poems:

  • Langston Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again”
  • Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” 
  • Pablo Neruda’s “Tonight I Can Write (the Saddest Lines)” 

The students took the famous works’ themes and made them their own. Very impressive!

Love Is 
by Asucena Velesaca

Love is the warmth coming from a hug
It’s patience
It’s acceptance
It’s the wealth of smiles and laughs
Love is unconditional
Love is endless

Rage Rage
by Asucena Velesaca

Rage, rage against death
Against the empty feeling left behind
Against the countless tears shed
Against the untimely goodbye
Rage, rage against the impossible visiting hours I wish the sky had

by Calesia Russell

What is love is a question asked by many
For me love is a series of feelings that are never ending
Love is when you can sit in silence but your heart still skips a beat
It’s when you feel like you can’t go on without that person
Love is when you think about their happiness not only yours
A feeling of butterflies in your stomach or that blushing moment of hope
Not many get to understand the love that you guys share but it’s okay
Love is pure, rare and unique 
You get the understanding of love when you have your own 
Love isn’t an excuse to escape as many may say but to learn of a feeling so much more…

Rage Rage On 
by Jade Bain

Rage rage on against the feelings of despair
You are worthy of everything your heart desires
Speak positivity into your life for only you hold the key to your future
Rage, rage on against the thought of giving up
The finish line is almost near and you are in first place
Every goal you ever made is attainable you just have to want it badly enough
Rage rage on …it’s already yours and you have won

by Jade Bain

Love is the thing you feel when your heart skips a beat
It fills your soul up like a slab of meat
It’s a simple act that’s hard to conceal
You will be surprised at how such a simple thing can heal
I implore you share love every chance you get
I can guarantee you would feel like you’ve just won a bet.

Let America be America Again 
by Jade Bain

Where is the America we are supposed to know and love?
The place where the American Dream is to be obtained.
This isn’t the place I imagined it would be, filled with greed, hate and animosity.
Let America be America again
How can it be when it never was? God we trust was proclaimed, but in this country religion is last compared to fame.
People shoot first and ask questions later, another life lost with no remorse.
We’ve been wearing masks for a year and every day we rise there is something new to fear
Let America be America again
How can it be when it never was?

by Jennifer Villa

America never was the land of the free
It was ripped from the hands of the natives
Their homes and lands stripped from their grasp
Built on the blood, tears, and sweat of them and the immigrants
We shout that this is the land of the free
That here you can accomplish your dreams
But then don’t shout that America can tear you down
Many will scream that you do not belong but you ask yourself why?
This is the land of the free and equal
Here you will learn the ugly truth
No one is equal, we are all divided
Fighting against each other
For rights that we deserve but not many want to give us
America never has felt like home
Not for years now

by Jennifer Villa

Love is an endless feeling deep within
Almost indescribable, growing endlessly each day
To love someone is so rare
You giving them everything, stripping yourself bare
It can be a fairytale dream or a heartache
Love is all about give and take
Love is finding someone that feels like home
It’s like falling into a deep sleep
Never wanting to wake
It’s like the moon and the sun
They love each other from a distance
One always rising to get a glimpse of one another
Love is wanting to be forever stuck in time

Rage, Rage
by Alicia Murphy

A situation that turns into an outrage
That goes higher and higher
With hate
Breaking down
Justice justice
Moms crying
Everyone please come together

Let America be America 
by Alicia Murphy

Let America be America again
Let people dream a dream no matter what color or race they are
Let everyone have an equal opportunity no matter what salary they make
Let America stand for what’s right and not what’s wrong
Let America be a team rather than have sides and be against everyone
Let America have its opinions on schooling for the younger generation
Let America be a peaceful loving caring land
Let it be strong, independent and a country that has everyone’s back

Amor es 
by Shantell Lee

Amor es Conquistador
Amor es dulce
Es eterno
Es amable
Amor es suave
Amor es madre
es padre, abuelos
Amor es familia
Amor es tu y yo

Let America be America Again
by Shantell Lee

America was never the land of the free
America was filled with hate and tears
I don’t want America to be America again
America has potential
America can shelter us,
Love us, keep us safe
America, I beg you to change
To become better
To provide equality
Our children need you
Our elderly need you
I need you
I don’t want America to be America again

Rage, Rage Against
by Shantell Lee

I know times are tough
I know what your mind says
Those thoughts telling you to give up
Telling you it’s easier to stop
I know it’s difficult
I know you were hurt
It’s easier to keep shut
It’s easier to look the other way
I know what your mind says
Those thoughts telling you it’s ok
Telling you he only did it once
But I say,
Rage, Rage against the hurt
Rage against the negative thoughts