Monday, December 17, 2012

A Balancing Act

Sometimes life is a balancing act.  Kristina's poem reminds us of this. 

I Am

I am a realist and a dreamer
I wonder if I am going down the right path
I hear the clock ticking faster
I see that nothing lasts forever
I desire to never make mistakes

I am a realist and a dreamer
I pretend that I live in a fairytale
I feel the pressure to be perfect
I reach for the stars
I worry that I won’t achieve my goal
I cringe at the thought of growing old

I am a realist and a dreamer
I know where I belong
I believe that everything happens for a reason
I dream to make memories come alive
I try to image that life always goes on
I hope to make pictures appear with a flash
I am a realist and a dreamer

by Kristina H., Grade 9

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Spine Poems

Did you know that writing a poem can be as simple as the artful arrangement of book spines from your home library?  Even better, these poems are "Instagrammable!"  Look at how these eighth grade students arranged their collection to craft a poem.

by Liam C. Grade 8

by Noah D. Grade 8

by Austin M. Grade 8

by Linnea S. Grade 8

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Am

Pattern and repetition often result in a poem that gathers momentum as you read it.  We know that is just one of the many facets you will love about the poem below about the struggles of a writer to achieve perfection -- or at least power!

I Am

I am literate and imaginative
I wonder what will inspire me next
I hear my pen gliding across paper
I see a constant flow of letters
I desire to step outside the box

I am literate and imaginative
I pretend to relive the moment
I feel the weight shift under my pen
I touch the fibers of the paper
I dislike being uninspired
I am upset by bland adjectives

I am literate and imaginative
I know there are a million ways to word it
I believe I will inspire the emotions of others
I dream of the image I distill with my words
I try to string all my thoughts in to order
I hope my words capture the attention of others.

I am literate and imaginative

Maddy G.
Grade 9

artwork by Davia D.

Rhyming (At Last!)

You may  have noticed that we shy away from rhyming poems on sevenatenine, but here is one that will impress you with its simplicity of rhythm and positive tone.
Below the poem is the painting upon which it is based.

Go and sail the ocean blue
A whole adventure for me and you
Go on a journey to set you free
Come escape from reality
Come to the land of dreams
Here we are all kings or queens
Out on the ocean blue
We can go to a land like you never knew
The journey is rough and filled with fear
But when it ends, it’s better than here!

By Dylan W.
Grade 8

The Journey by Selma Bortner

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ekphrastic Poetry from Art on the Move

Did you know that poetry or songs based on art are called "ekphrastic poems?"  Think of Don McLean's song "Vincent" or Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Both of these songs are inspired by famous painting, and therefore they are "ekphrastic." The poem below is based on Early Light by Vincent Ceglia from the Art on the Move program.

In the following poem, note how the ambiguous imagery in the poem inspires clear revelations in the poet.  Also observe his excellent use of personification.

The Colors of War

Early Light,
Blues, yellows, and orange,
The weak cyan and turquoise,
Retreat in defeat,
As the deep blue rushes onwards in protest,
Smothering the feeble armies of green and yellow.
The smoke clears,
And the fighting resumes.
The air is filled with the sounds of battle,
The ground beneath the soldier’s feet,
Begins to rattle.
Fallen warriors,
Are buried under fresh new paint.
New colors emerge,
In the shadows of others.
The soldiers stand still, steady, strong, and ready.
Red blood of the fallen warriors,
Oozes down to the bottom of the battlefield.
The yellow army,
Is engulfed in blue,
And the colors blend to create a new hue.
Green, orange, red, blue, and yellow,
Finally settle as the fight comes to a close,
And the wet paint dries.
The masterpiece is finally completed,
And the artist stands proud and tall, admiring his work of art.
Blues, yellows, and orange fight.
Early Light.

by Dylan J.

Early Light by Vincent Ceglia

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hurricane Haiku

Everyone came across staggering images during the course of Hurricane Sandy; some of us even captured pictures of them in our own backyards!  The photograph below was taken by Charles Sykes of the Associated Press (AP), and it inspired two Holicong eighth graders to write some haiku. (And yes, in case you are wondering, the plural of "haiku" is "haiku.")

Bumblebees drowning
Head first, then stingy black tails
Wings too damp to fly.
Arden H., eighth grade
Zombie taxi cabs
Rising from the storm water
Pushing through the lake.
Matthew C., eighth grade
Love those metaphors, Arden and Matthew! Keep up the good work!
In other random word knowledge, who knew that the word "stingy"-- as in "He's so stingy he took her to Wendy's for a first date" -- is spelled the same way as "stingy" in Arden's poem, which refers to the "stingy" black tails of bumblebees. 
Additionally, if you saw some images circulating the Internet during the hurricane that you thought were too bizarre to be true, check out this blog article from The Atlantic to verify the accuracy of the pictures you were sharing:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sadly, our losses sometimes make the best inspirations for poetry.  Stephanie's poem is a perfect example of how our darkest hours can inspire our brightest stanzas.


Forget his name, forget his face,
Forget his laugh, forget his smile,
Remember he has gone awhile.

Forget the way he used to walk,
Forget the way he used to talk,
Forget the way he held you tight,
Remember he’s with her tonight.

Forget his shoes, forget his hand,
Forget when he had played in the band,
Forget the way he used to sing,
Remember she has everything.

Forget the way he made you glad,
Remember he has left you mad.
Forget his phone, forget his number,
Remember it was such a bummer.

Forget the way he turned out the light,
And forget the way he said goodnight .

By: Stephanie S., seventh grader

Artwork by Katy W. seventh grader




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Seldom do we have such a perfect match of a picture and a poem, but here is a sunrise captured in words and graphics created by Holicong students. 

Beach Day

Early morning,
Grainy sand clinging to my feet,
Waves lightly coat my toes like a watercolor painting.


Crystal-clear tumbling waves,
Towels whipping in the wind,

Beach toys sprinkled across the sand like crayons after a kid has scribbled with them.


Seagulls screeching in search of food,
The smell of salty sea water,
Tall dune weeds sprout from the ground like brushes from a cup.


Colorful umbrellas providing shade,
Glasses protecting my eyes from the sun,
Pinching lotion from a bottle like trying to get the last few drops of paint.


Storm cloud-grey fish swim about,
Rock barriers between sections of beach,
Shells scattered across the sand like splatters on a canvas.


The beautiful Sea Isle, New Jersey.
by Katie B., seventh grader
drawing by Madeline G. (no relation to Kenny G)
Just a quick reminder that as we watch the leaves fall and brace for winter, spring is never far away.  What would artists and writers do without the changing seasons?  Thanks to Amanda H. for this colored pencil drawing.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Enjoy the figurative language and imagery in this poem by seventh grader Emily H!

Where I’m From

I am from clay,
from pencils and paints.

I am from the desert underneath the silver stars,
cold and distant from the earth.

I am from the ocotillo bush,
the jacaranda tree,
whose purple flowers litter my memory
every passing spring.

I’m from ice cream and imagination,
from Rowling and Patterson.

I’m from the show-offs
and the shy ones,
from Well Done!
and Pay Attention!

I’m from “Once upon a time…”
with a book in hand and
daring adventures waiting to unfold.

I’m from quiet nights and warm days,
chirping geckoes and sour fruits.
From the friends I’ve lost because of
Pennsylvania, the family I left for
my new life.

In my closet was a notebook
bursting with drawings,
a cornucopia of inspiration
enough to keep me awake at night.


I am from these moments—
budding early, then blooming—
another blossom on the family tree.

Emily H. -- seventh grade


Monday, October 15, 2012

Taking the Plunge

While these poems both examine literal dives into the water, they can easily be interpreted figuratively as well.  After all, any time we try something new we "take a plunge."  Fervently, we "dive right into" our work.  And through it all, we try to "stay afloat."

The Great Unknown
If I remember correctly,
We had been laughing,
Laughing at the great unknown.
It seemed almost crazy,
To jump into the growing darkness
Called the sea.
Yet there we were,
And jumping into the salty water.


The mist off the great waves stung my eyes
And coated my tongue.
The cool air,
Encased me,
As if it too was afraid
I would fall and hurt myself.
My small body broke the surface of the water
And sent me tumbling downward
Into the darkness.

The water attacked me
And refused to let me out of its icy grip.
I fought against the current that had been
Pulling me in all directions.
But I prevailed,
And broke the surface once again.

My chest heaved as I gasped for much needed air.
And the distant cry of a seagull
Penetrated my ears.
But I could stay no longer,
In the icy water.
My fun would soon be over,
For my supper waited.

Anna A. -- Eighth grade

At Peace 
I feel the daze of the sun as it beats down,
Glazing the ocean with a golden coat.
I inhale, taking in the salty air that surrounds me.
My heart pounds and I slam my eyes shut as I dive, leaving the dock behind me.
Cutting through the icy blue floor, sharp and swift,
I feel the waves around me shatter and I emerge into a universe of silence.
Serenity consumes me, those few moments of peace slipping away,
As I emerge to the creamy orange sky, greeting my face with warmth.
As my escape from the real world comes to an end,
A certain feeling of familiar joy finds me,
Inviting me home.
Nicole H. -- Eighth Grade

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Twilight Zone Moment

We could not resist a quick shout out:  You are visiting sevenatenine and today is 10/11/12.  And all is well in the universe!

See you on Monday with some new poems! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What Is a Murmuration?

Have you ever heard of a murmuration before?  If not, you must check out this video before reading the poem below.  This is the video that prompted eighth grader, Lily M., to craft her poem. Simply awe-inspiring!


The birds didn’t fly

They danced

Stirring as if they choreographed it

The sky was a swirling black mass

Flooded with birds

Like a blanket over the island

The birds covered it

Now twirling again

Mocking those who are flightless


Lily M.
P. S. Thanks to another eighth grader, Matthew R., for his research.  He discovered that often a murmuration is sparked by a nearby predator, like a hawk, and the birds, by sticking together, can chase away or confuse the predator. Only birds who fall out of sync with the rest of the murmuration are in danger.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Brand New Year

Typing this title, I feel like I can hear Sting (does anybody know who this is?) singing "turn the clock to zero" in the back of my head.  And that is kind of what the start of each school year feels like to all of us: new faces, spaces, great expectations (the kind you get signed on the first day of school, not the Dickensian sort).  Soon, though, we'll all settle in to a routine, a rhythm that life assumes, the turning open of notebooks, the tides of tests.  Some might call it boring, but to those with the right frame of mind and attitude, every waking moment is an adventure, even the predictable ones.

So take a moment to connect to the little things around you with this poem to open our year, written by eighth-grader Maggie M.  After all, what defines an adventure is all in the eye of the beholder.

Little Things

The red scarf
Slid slowly down
The brown banister
Past the puffing fan,
The barking dog,
The open refrigerator door.
The ruby scarf
Gazed at the generations
That lived on the walls.
Dipped its frayed edges to the
Coat hanger,
The hats shivering at the wind,
Blasting from the open door.

The scarlet scarf
Jumped up the shoes
That lay scattered
Across the floor.

The scarf rested on the cushioning
Of the upholstered
Green bench,
And waited for the next

Maggie M. -- Grade 8

Monday, May 21, 2012

Farewell to the Seven Viewers

To the devout (seven) subscribers to Sevenatenine:

Our faithful viewers, we fare thee well
As summer draws us near
And to the ocean, we see the swells
And ice cream men we hear
Alas, with summer comes the end
Of another lengthy school year
And with its conclusion, too we see
A scarce few will shed their tears
A fond goodbye we send
As they depart the halls with glee
Thus, Sevenatenine has reached another end
To freedom now we flee
Have a great July, and August, too
Of popsicles, pandemonium, pools
Poetry, prose, something new
Read a book and please stay cool

Monday, May 14, 2012

Capture the Painting

To honor the work of the creative artists of Holicong, Sevenatenine has chosen to publish a drawing as a prompt for writers with the unavoidable writers' block. The following sketch was made by Maddy G., eight grader, entitled The Willow. Use the vivacious colors and delicate shading to be inspired in any form of writing - enjoy! Also, for all of our dedicated viewers, please consider visiting this week's Spring Arts Festival, full of promising artwork just like Maddy's. We hope to see you there!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Literary Inspiration

Sevenatenine has found yet another set of poems inspired by famous works of literature, featuring a wide range of genres and topics. Enjoy the writers' interpretations of the novels in their own forms of poetry!


I’ve fallen in love
I’ve fallen into dreamland
He’s magnetic
He’s dangerous
He makes me forget
I miss my life
It’s tough
It’s compelling
Some things I see clearly
While others a misunderstanding
I’m screaming
Trying to wake up
I’m sorry
This is real
This is making me oblivious
It’s made me withdrawn
It’s made me different
With or without is a problem
Stay; go
Love; hate
Which way?

By Claire A., 7th grade
Based on Dreamland

Imperfect Utopia

High expectations
Always striving to be perfect.
You are a model of perfection,
A shining example.  It’s a disguise.
But no one knows,
You are controlled.
Nothing can stop the exposure.
Trying, trying, trying,
Fighting, fighting, fighting
To stop.
You cannot stop loved ones,
They are forever gone.
There is no disobeying.
A terrible life you are forced
To enjoy.

By Ana P., 7th grade
Based on Candor

Monday, April 30, 2012

Allusions to Literature

One of the most beautiful things about literature is the ability to inspire and be inspired by other works. Ms. Schmitt's class has taken this initiative to heart, creating poems based on popular literary works, including The Hunger Games and Out of My Mind, which are available in the library to enjoy.

A poem based on The Hunger Games

Districts fight to the death
Starvation, hunting, killing
Fear and panic
To be in is thrilling
Want to escape, but not able to
Dying and dying and dying
You want to win
For fame, fortune, and glory
It is WAR.

By Alex L., 7th grade

A poem based on Out of My Mind

No one knows
Just how smart she is
She can’t tell them
She’s trapped in her head
Can’t talk
Can’t walk
Can’t write
She wished she could just speak up
Mountains of words
Surround her
She remembers everything
There’s no delete button
She wishes she could just escape.

By Jacky W., 7th grade

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Sonnets

While reading the classics of Shakespeare, the ninth grade class was inspired to compose sonnets of their own. To celebrate the literary idol, sevenatenine has decided to share a few of their creations.

Lying in bed with these buds in my ears,
From ambient silence, to rhythmic beat
The loud pulsations drowning out any fears
Digitalism’s “Pogo” blasting on repeat
Music evokes powerful emotions
It is simple to get lost in its tones
Seduced by its timeless musical motions
These rhythmic sounds can chill to the bones
Music is in your soul, even from the start
Filling the museum that is your mind
I would sacrifice all to hear this art
Even prefer to go utterly blind
Music is what adds color to this realm
And it grows larger as a great old elm
Brendan P., 9th grade
Pencil Marks
I do remember we discussed it,
Once, how memory is like pencil mark
How over time it starts to fade a bit.
Memories overlap as they grow dark.
When I recall the halls of those old haunts,
They swarm with pigment that was never there,
Sometimes, the bleedings of some other thoughts
Infect reality they snare and tear.
Piano playing fingers tinged with my
Pre-school impressions of dinosaur skin,
Plus a white smile like a summer sky
With black of crumbling sooty coal inked in,
All these things feel like dreams when I think back.
It scares me that so many dreams go black.
Tessa K., 9th grade

Monday, April 2, 2012


With warm weather approaching, we thought it would be appropriate to share a poem that highlights the beauty and mystique of nature.


An ethereal mist shrouds pristine nature.
Mellifluous birds call in a graceful harmony.
Abnormal creatures gallantly stride;
They advance through intricate foliage.

Crystalline lagoons beam with life,
A plethora of aquatic life forms habituate it.
Sun rays produce littered glints of life,
Blinding fauna that are nearby.

An eerie shriek silences all evidence of movement.
A full, baritone growl follows with a suppressed crack.
Frantic feet squabble over fallen leaves,
Disappearing into the nocturnal woods.

Gianna R., 9th grade

Monday, March 26, 2012

We Real Cool

The poem "We Real Cool" by Gwendelon Brooks is known for how it captures the gritty realities of life in a big city.  Eighth grader Taylor M. had to meet challenge:  Adapt the poem to a poem that captures the gritty (or not so gritty) realities of life in the suburbs.  She had to maintain the same "snipped" rhythm and simple, truthful diction.

Here is the result:

She shops long.
He goes along.

She works hard.
He wrote a card.

She doesn't care.
He's never there.

She walks away.
He says "Okay."

If you are curious about the source of her inspiration, you can check out the original.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Inspired by Current Events . . .

Maddie T., an eighth grade student, was inspired to write the following poem after a discussion regarding politics she had with her father.

An interesting linguistic footnote here:  The word "crevasse" may sound a lot like "crevice" but the scale is much  different.  The dictionary defines "crevasse" as "a fissure, a deep cleft in glacial ice or in the earth's surface."  Way bigger than a crevice, eh?

The Cracks and Crevasses

The floor of Congress is a battlefield where nothing is done,
Sell your views or your voice is hung,
Two opposing forces where a stalemate has begun.

A masquerade by brilliant actors,
Created by a myriad of factors.
History is not what they lack,
Rather they succeed
In their money-making knack.

Where does my voice fit in this?
I am either one or the other, waiting to be dismissed.

Line drawn down the middle,
Who can explain this untaught riddle?

Maddie T., eighth grade