POETRY AT NORTH SHORE HIGH SCHOOL
NS High School Celebrates Shakespeare’s Birthday and National Poetry Month
On Tuesday, 4/25, the North Shore High School Library, Writing Center, and Poetry Club worked together to host the annual celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday and National Poetry Month. The event took place in the theatre of the high school and included student, faculty, and administrative volunteers who read from the works of William Shakespeare, other poets, or their own original work. Many English classes were in the audience to cheer on their peers, principals, and teachers.
Principal Eric Contreras said, "I thank Dr. Kirmser, Ms. Donnatin, and Mr. Rice, along with all the English teachers for organizing a wonderful celebration of poetry and spoken word. The varied selections, and unique interpretations of poems read at the event, highlight the talents, creativity, and sophistication of our students. Poetry can offer clarity, depth, and new insight to all around us, and helps us see and feel the world differently. I thank our teachers for making poetry a part of our learning experience at North Shore High School."
“Shakespeare’s impact both on classical literature and on contemporary pop culture is undeniable,” the announcers proclaimed. “There have been more than 500 films based on [or] adapted from…Shakespeare’s plays. There have been about 200 operas based on his plays. Additionally, many everyday expressions are taken right from Shakespearean literature.” Punctuating the event with both context of the works and biographical information about each orator, our emcees welcomed students to the stage as “brave readers [who] will help us celebrate Shakespeare’s work and the power of poetry.”
This year’s program enjoyed an abundant audience each period and a special visit from Interim Superintendent Dr. Tom Dolan. Some of the faculty highlights of the day included Mr. La Blanc’s humorous rendition of a poem written in response to a student’s question “Did I Miss Anything?”; Dr. Mabrouk’s reading of a poem that leveraged rhetorical questions to convey its theme, “A Worker Reads History”; Mr. McEvoy’s anecdote about an allusion in a Police album prior to reciting “Sonnet 130”; Dr. Kurrus’ sharing of the female empowerment poem “For My Daughter”; Mr. Blanchard’s recitation of the harrowing poem made famous by Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”; Mr. Willgoos’s performance of an unidealized coming-of-age poem “Cartoon Physics”; and Dr. Titone’s, Mr. Contreras’s, and Mr. Burgos’ recitations of poems in Spanish.
Thank you to everyone who worked hard to organize and participate in this NS High School poetry event commemorating the great English poet, playwright, and actor, William Shakespeare. Many thanks to Ms. Rice, Ms. Donnatin, and Dr. Kirmser who collaborated and worked endlessly to launch this literary event celebrating William Shakespear’s Birthday and National Poetry Month.
Article and photos by Shelly Newman