Nature’s Lament

By Carter Piagentini ’25

I often hear this idea that poets can see the intricacies of every little thing in life. And although there is definitely some truth in this sentiment—after all, William Wordsworth was able to compose 162 lines about a single place in “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”—I would also argue that the word intricacies often gets conflated with beauties. It is true that I can see the intricacies of mundane objects, but it is fallacious to say that these intricacies are always beautiful or pretty.

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Tulips and Trash Bags: Tiptoeing Through the Tulips Ditches

By Kenyon Geetings ’24

In the heartland’s embrace, where fields stretch wide, / Along Highway 102, where the winds confide, / There, amidst the whispers of the prairie breeze, / A tale unfolds, spun in the threads of ditches, if you please.

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Remedial Poetry

By Carter Piagentini ’25

I’m often haunted by the feeling of being called out of my 2nd-grade class during the middle of a lesson to go practice my reading skills every week. An old lady would quietly peek her head through the door, whisper something to the teacher, and then I would find myself being led down the hall to a different room.

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Excerpts from Sexuality and Confinement

By Carter Piagentini ’25

As a gay man, I started realizing the many ways sexuality affects my life when I noticed that others tended to use the word “gay” to describe me as if my identity and personhood are predicated on my sexuality. Not only did I find this word in others’ descriptions of me, but also in my descriptions of myself—after all, I even started this author’s note with “as a gay man.” Ultimately, whatever I’m described as, it will always be subsequent to the label “gay.”

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Iron and Blood

By Sophia Fritz ’26

Caress my tea-stained lips with your cracked fingertips / to send shivers across my brittle skin. / The chill shatters my spill gates and raises / …

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The Lucky One

By Bria Holthe ’23

We exist in an environment under severe threat. We are swiftly approaching the point of no return in the climate crisis. Eventually, we will be forced to figure out not how to stop it, but how to live through it.

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Don’t Bury My Bones

By Sarah Linde ’24

When I die / Don’t bury my bones Let my body rest, / Let it gently decompose / …

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I Hope You Feel No Pain

By Kayla Lindquist ’25

My poem, “I Hope You Feel No Pain” is about a ten-thousand-year-old prairie that is at the risk of being destroyed. It is located about thirty minutes from my home so it’s something that stirs up a lot of emotion in me.

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To My Core

By Sarah Smith ’25

This poem is a dramatized version of a real event that happened in my life. I lost my serious boyfriend last year to suicide.

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In Memory of Renee Van Roekel

By Central College English Department

Renee Van Roekel studied at Central College for several years in pursuit of an English degree. Renee also struggled for many years with addiction, and on April 2, 2020, it took her life. Her family shares her fight in hopes that Renee’s story will help other people with addiction seek help. The English Department celebrates Renee’s talent by sharing her poem “Break Away.”

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No Se Espera Que Seamos Buenas En Física

By Katie Wang

“No se espera que seamos buenas en física” es un poema que hace un comentario sobre las expectativas de la sociedad sobre las mujeres. Este poema fue escrito al estilo de Alfonsina Storni, una importante escritora de la literatura hispanoamericana.

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Environmental Minimalism and Inspirational Wonder in Paradise Lost

By Emma Chervek

Paradise Lost tells the story of the creation of the universe based on the Biblical account in the book of Genesis, focusing on Adam and Eve’s early life in Eden: earth’s ultimate paradise. This story is influenced by the natural characteristics of its setting and is therefore inseparable from the physical environment in which this story is set.

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Aristotle and Alison Discover the Secrets of Their Dads

By Emma Carlson '22

As popular stand-up comedian John Mulaney once dryly remarked in a special: “None of us really know our fathers.” And while it was said in the spirit of morbid comedy, it also rings a little true.

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Flash of Lightning, Sprig of Lilac: Representations of Nature in Whitman’s War Poetry

By Hannah Marcum '18

Aroused and angry, I thought to beat the alarum, and urge relentless war; But soon my fingers fail’d me, my face droop’d, and I resign’d myself. To sit by the wounded and sooth them, or silently watch the dead.

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