HI Poetry Contest: deadline Mar 7

18th Annual
HIES Poetry Contest
Steve Marine Poetry Award
Fame! Cash Prizes! Immortality!


Available online at http://hiespoetrycontest.wikispaces.com/

1) Student contestants must be enrolled in grades 9-12 at HIES.

2) Each student may submit up to three poems.

3) Each poem may be written in any form or style,
except: each poem must be no longer than 2 single-spaced pages
each poem must be in a readable font (such as Courier or Times New Roman, etc.)
4) Submit four paper copies of each poem:
In one envelope labeled “Entry,” submit three copies without your name on them.
In a separate envelope labeled “Name,” submit a fourth copy of the entry with your name on the poem.
5) All poems must be original works and the sole work of the student who submits them.

6) All entries are potentially considered for publication in Rhyme and Reason unless the submitting student specifically indicates to not do that. The winning poems will be published in Rhyme and Reason.

7) All poems must be turned in to Dr. Swann no later than Wednesday, March 7. Awards ceremony date TBA.

3rd Place: $50
2nd Place: $75
1st Place: $100
“Things that are true expressed in words that are beautiful.”
—Dante Alighieri, definition of poetry


agenda T/W Feb 20/21: bookmark, paragraph

learning goal: describe how three significant motifs weave together in the novel.  What does this weaving mean to your overall understanding of the novel?

TIME IN CLASS: to complete the two projects due–(1) Persian rug bookmark and (2) one of the two paragraphs described in the instructions from last week (T/W Feb 13/14)*.

*KR: Two paragraphs and bookmark

Paragraph 1 (main idea)

A main idea you want to express about the novel as a whole, or about some particular aspect of the novel—for example, a character, theme, setting, or conflict.  What is the idea you want to express?  Why do you want to spend time trying to communicate it to others?

Recommendation: though not required, consulting the “Questions” section of your booklet’s interior may well produce a meaningful idea you want to express in this assignment. 

Paragraph 2 (student art)

How does one of the three pieces of student art (a painting, a photograph, and drawing) help you think about Hosseini’s novel in a new way?  What is the new thought, and how does this piece of art contribute to this new way of thinking about the book?

Recommendation: After viewing the student pieces in today’s agenda (T/W Feb 13/14), go see the actual art works; as of today, all three hang on the wall opposite the entrance to the campus shop.


Using the description of a 2014 HIES project (see other side of this sheet), create a bookmark.  One side of the bookmark shows an original Persian carpet design.  The other side briefly explains the design’s motifs and their significance to an understanding of the novel.

Recommendation: for ideas, review the Persian carpet design in the header of our course blog.

General Instructions

Complete the bookmark and one of the paragraphs (you choose) by the class on Tue/Wed Feb 20/21.  Submit the paragraph to the corresponding box in TURNITIN.

To be accepted, paragraphs must use the prescribed template, with the acknowledgment-footer describing sources for ideas or details originating from outside your own mind.  For example, if conversations or other types of exchanges with classmates produce ideas or details in the paragraph that would not otherwise be there, acknowledge that person or persons.  This is just one example of a situation requiring clear acknowledgment in the prescribed footer.  Paragraphs without the complete template will not be accepted.

General Recommendations

Unless you have another basic model in mind, I recommend the 11-part-paragraph structure for both paragraphs 1 & 2.  It continues to work for me in my personal and professional writing.

Actual passages from the novel itself will make your paragraphs more compelling.  Be sure, however, that the passages you choose to include support your ideas rather than overwhelm or outweigh them.  In other words, use more of your own sentences than Hosseini’s.


After reading Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner, set primarily in Afghanistan, students designed their own Persian rugs to represent motifs in the story.  The visual elements in these carpets embody literary elements seen by the artist as important to the novel.  Under each rug is the artist’s statement explaining the motifs, their relationships to one another and the significance of these motifs to an understanding of the overall novel.

In this novel, two young boys from different ethnic groups grow up as close friends.  The older boy’s inaction harms their relationship, and the rest of the story concerns that boy’s need to make amends for his mistakes.  Throughout the novel, readers learn about the history and culture of Kabul and neighboring Pakistan, as well as the daily lives of Afghani immigrants in California.

*Motifs, as defined by students at UNC Pembroke, are recurring objects, concepts or structures in a literary work. (http://www2.uncp.edu/home/canada/work/allam/general/glossary.htm)


agenda T/W Feb 13/14: 2 paragraphs and a bookmark

learning goal: how would you answer one of the “Questions” on the right-hand side of the KR booklet’s inside pages?

distribution of “KR: two paragraphs and a bookmark,” which shows assignment choices and due dates  (click here for 11-part-paragraph model)

Here are the three student art pieces mentioned in the instructions for Paragraph 2.




due Th/F Feb 15/16: original ghazal

bring to this class an original ghazal, which includes the following ingredients:

multiple couplets–between 5 and 12 couplets

shared repeated word, or repeated phrase (refrain)–appears at end of second line in couplet

internal rhyme scheme/pattern: second line of couplet, right before refrain

signature couplet at end

no enjambments between couplets

in opening couplet only, both lines contain rhyme (qafia) and refrain (radif)

lines have similar length (hint: longer lines  give you more room to play with rhyme and refrain)

see color-coded version of Hollander poem, with occasional comments, here