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Students' works to be published

February 15, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - When Jessica Burtner set out to compose a sonnet for a class assignment recently, she said it began as a chore but ended as a triumph.

"It was long and tiring but worth it," said the Clear Spring High School student - one of eight student poets in Mary Marra Brown's English 12 class whose works will be published.

The poems will appear in the next anthology, "A Celebration of Young Poets," published by Creative Communications Inc.

In addition to Burtner, the seven other young poets from Clear Spring High School whose work will be included in the book are Lindsey Chaney, Kaitlyn Fauber, Larry Hose, Jonah Ellis Manke, Jesse Mills, David Thoerig and Garrett Wright.

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"These kids are a joy to teach, they are very creative," said Brown, who was basking in the glow of the accomplishment since nearly half of her class was chosen for inclusion in the book.

Brown has been at Clear Spring High School all but one of her 10 years in teaching.

Burtner said she has received an additional kudo for her poetic prowess, having been asked by Pastor Len Smith of her church, Broadfording Church of the Brethren Fellowship, to use her poem as a prayer.

Chaney said she has written poetry before but this was her first stab at a sonnet, which is a 14-line poem usually characterized by a single theme and a typical fixed verse and rhyme scheme.

"I like sonnets now," Chaney said. "It had to be about love and I chose romantic love as my theme."

She said she first wrote her feelings and then went back and reworked those words into the sonnet form. Chaney titled her poem, "Nightmare."

"I reached for his hand, he jerked it away.
He gave me a look and got up to leave.
I started to cry and asked him to stay,
And told him that I would never deceive.
He told me 'my dear, you have already
And I'm sorry but I cannot forgive.
This thing we have is no longer steady
And without you it is so hard to live.'
I then replied, 'you too have lied to me,
To try to make yourself look innocent.
You have blinded me so I cannot see.
If you truly love me, give me a hint.'
I then woke up, hoping to see you there.
This has all been a horrible nightmare."

Manke said since his sonnet-writing experience, he thinks about rhyming a lot more than he used to when he was writing poetry.

In some cases, the sonnet experience gave voice to personal feelings such as in Wright's "Thinking of You," and "My Dear Danielle," by Manke.

"I've made rhymes to amuse myself but I composed this one for her," Manke said.

Brown said she warned her students that it would sound hard in the beginning because there are rules to follow in writing sonnets. She was gratified at the quality of the work her students produced.

"I have had students qualify before but never eight at one time," Brown said. "We even get a free book because more than five students qualified."

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