Magical Moments: High School Poetry - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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Magical Moments: High School Poetry


Did you know that April is National Poetry month? As a school that values the study of poetry and celebrates the creativity of our students, we want to share some student poetry for today's Magical Moment. Our younger students memorize and recite great poems regularly, and our older students are learning to write and express themselves through poetry. So we have chosen to put our high schoolers in the spotlight, and bring you two student poems for your reading enjoyment. Our High School Literature teacher, Sarah Shotwell, shares about the group's experience with poetry:

This year, we have been exploring various forms and genres of modern poetry, including persona poems, anaphora poems, and villanelles. We have been trying to get away from the notion that a poem is simply a bunch of lines that rhyme, and are looking at how sound, language, image, form and meter all come together to delight and instruct the reader, and to communicate something meaningful. I have seen the students grow a lot in the maturity of their writing this year, but this summer, SLOCA and the Hanging Lantern Review are hosting a creative writers workshop in SLO for high schoolers, where students will have access to instruction by poet William Camponovo, an artist praised as much for his teaching ability as for his poetic skill. I look forward to seeing them grow even further in the coming months and years! Students at SLOCA have both talent and a strong work ethic. You need both to be a successful writer.

Thank you Sarah! And without further ado, enjoy the following poems:

Silent Night

by Joshua Ronda

Christmas Eve, in church with relatives

Whispering to a cousin

Worship band begins playing

Christmas songs.

I am handed a mint by my mother

Turning it over in my hand

The cellophane wrapping makes

A crinkle.

I cough, to cover the sound

Of unwrapping the mint

And lick it, then pop it into

My mouth.

“Silent Night” is being played

And aunt Diane

Sways to the music of a

beautiful guitar.

I am trying to sing with a mint

In my mouth, but

In the middle of “Holy”

I choke.

I tap my aunt ferociously but she is still swaying and humming and

My cousin’s eyes are closed and I am losing my breath I gasp and

Tap harder until someone notices I’m going to die so I stand up and

Mime “I think I’m choking” then I run to the restroom so if I need to vomit the mint they

won’t be cleaning up my guts in the middle of the sermon and . . .

Then I breathe.

I walk back to our row while the men

And the moms are frantically fanning


I sit down and calm my mother

And ask for another mint

(Rejected) and then I realize

“Silent night” is still playing.

The World

by Caroline Rein

The globe is broken,

and it keeps toppling off the pedestal. If

it could be fixed, it would;


the sphere plunges,

the paint chips, and

the continents and oceans dwindle.

Everything is mutating into one shattered mess.

The map is collapsing.

It is wilting to a haunting yellow,

and the words are dying to gray.

It was well loved

and used in abundance.

If it could be fixed it would,


the edges are hacked,

pieces are slit off.

Now it is at death’s door.

The world is cracked

and flawed. Riddled with

blood red stains.

It keeps plummeting

off the pedestal of God.

If it could be fixed,

it would,

and some people are trying;


there are many corrupt people,

people— fixated on themselves.

They don’t care

if the world is dying.

The words are expiring.

Can we stop it?

Can we fix the globe? With glue, maybe…

Can we fix the map? With tape, maybe…

Can we fix the world?

Thank you Josh and Caroline, for sharing these fantastic poems with our community! It’s great to get a glimpse of what our high schoolers are up to.

And speaking of our high school students, we’d like to remind you that they are currently raising money for the first print edition of The Hanging Lantern Review, and they could use a little help! If you haven’t already, please take a moment to view the video they made and consider making a donation to this worthy project.   

Do you have a magical moment to share with our community? Please email [email protected] and tell us about it!

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