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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Grizzly Poets

April is the month when poets are nationally recognized. Thus, we have three recent national poetry competitors. The three Juniors from Los Osos who will be representing our school are Juniors Sophie Zheng, Helen Rivas, and Bella Kim. They are all part of our competitive Speech and Debate team, where they share stories and morals through captivating poems. 

This year, Zheng wrote a poem called “I Love You Today.” A heartfelt personal masterpiece that takes us through the journey of immigrant parents and the generational trauma it can cause. It focuses on the aspect of being in a household that constantly blames women, instead of facing the overarching problem of the patriarchy. Zheng’s poem takes us through a harsh pathway that ultimately leads us to both the mother and the daughter reconciling over the patriarchal issue, sympathizing with the mother, while never fully giving forgiveness for her abuse.

Winning third place in competitions, the poem highlights and gives insight into the complicated generational and cultural gap between immigrant parents and their children. Somewhat inspired by her real relationship with her mother, Zheng uses this as an opportunity to speak up during upsetting and grieving moments of her life, as well as other daughters’ lives. 

Zheng loves writing in general and is a literature lover. Zheng says, “I really like seeing other people’s original pieces and the sheer creativity and originality they have.” Using poetry is one of the ways she expresses her mindset and ideas of daily dilemmas that constantly occur to her or others. 

Rivas has competed with her original poem “Something Stupid”. She wrote about the struggle of liking someone who is the same gender. Written her Freshman year of high school, she competed and won second and first place prizes with her poem. 

Slightly different, she has also composed and published a book of poems called “The Myth of Love”. Using Greek myths to inspire her throughout her book, she used its mythology to express different forms of love and relationships that exist, and that we can relate to as a reader. While it is not a Speech and Debate-related competition, Rivas’s book won a contest for Junior Writers. 

Rivas expands on her love for poetry by saying, “I enjoy the fact that poetry is a very free section of writing, it can be any structure about any topic and it still is art. You don’t have to be a master at writing to write poetry, you just need a passion and a dream.”

Rivas uses poetry to expand her mindset and find ways to express and share her creative imagination. Using feedback from her friends makes her book more special to her heart as the contribution and effort are something she can personally see whenever she mentions her book.

Most recently, Kim has been competing with two poems, last year with “Four Seasons”, and now with “Memory Box”. Both poems convey the narrative of growing up and maturing, and as a result, neglecting important loved ones to achieve simplistic goals, such as friends or school. The moral of the tale is appreciating and cherishing small moments and realizing the mistake of forgetting what is most important. 

Inspired by the hardship of having witnessed her grandfather being diagnosed with cancer and seeing him in a fatal condition once hospitalized, Kim used poetry to commemorate him and honor him, giving him reason to be proud of her accomplishments. Such meaning bled through to the judges as she won first place multiple times with both poems, most prominent being this and last year’s league champions.

Kim exhibits her emotional struggles through poetry. She says, “I love how free and expressive it is. I can write whatever I want, do whatever I want, and most of all, remember my grandpa.” 

Kim comments on how the writing process is not something she can teach. Her experience of writing takes place over the summer. She says, “Sometimes, I had to just sit and stare at my computer for hours, thinking of ideas to truly come up with the message I wish to convey. But once I get into the flow, I write, write, write. Poetry is not something you can copy from other people– it’s something unique to every person, which is why it’s so special.”

Poetry is a therapeutic escape to express one’s ideas freely in the order and morality that each person wants to leave behind. Currently underrated in our society, poetry is a way to heal us and a way to call out one’s mistakes with recognition of the best and the worst of a situation. It takes a reader or listener through a personal journey of storytelling, with carefully chosen words and artistic guidance of a situation. 

A beautiful story led through with sorrow, and leaving a lesson of life.

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