Ohio Poetry Out Loud: 2019 State Finals


MUSIC>>I’M CHIQUITA MULLINS LEE. I’M ONE OF THE ARTS LEARNING COORDINATORS FOR THE OHIO ARTS COUNCIL, AND IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME YOU TO THE 14th ANNUAL POETRY OUT LOUD STATE FINALS FOR OHIO. 14! [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] THESE FINALISTS WILL BE COMPETING FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO REPRESENT OHIO AT THE NATIONAL COMPETITION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THESE STUDENTS COME FROM ALL ACROSS THE STATE. EACH OF THEM COMPETED AT THEIR HIGH SCHOOL, AND THEN AT ONE OF OUR SIX REGIONAL SEMIFINALS, AND EARNED THE HONOR OF REPRESENTING THEIR SCHOOL AND THEIR REGION AT THE STATE FINALS HERE TODAY. I AM SO PROUD TO PRESENT OUR 13 FINALISTS WHO WILL BE RECITING HERE TONIGHT. SO LET’S BRING THEM ON STAGE. [ APPLAUSE ]>>IT’S NOT EASY TO MEMORIZE A POEM, AND EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE TO RECITE IT WITH CONFIDENCE AND GRACE IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE. I’D LIKE TO CONGRATULATE ALL OF THE STUDENTS AND THE TEACHERS FOR THEIR HARD WORK AND THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF MAKING IT TO THE STAGE TODAY. THE STATE FINALS WILL CONSIST OF THREE ROUNDS. EACH STUDENT WILL RECITE ONE POEM IN EACH OF THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS. THE TOP SIX HIGHEST-SCORING STUDENTS FROM THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS WILL RECITE A THIRD POEM IN THE FINAL ROUND. CONTEST RESULTS WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE CUMULATIVE SCORE FROM ALL THREE ROUNDS. THE CONTESTANTS WILL BE SCORED IN SIX CATEGORIES: PHYSICAL PRESENCE, VOICE AND ARTICULATION, DRAMATIC APPROPRIATENESS, EVIDENCE OF UNDERSTANDING, OVERALL PERFORMANCE, AND ACCURACY. FOR THIS FORMIDABLE TASK, I’D LIKE TO THANK OUR THREE DISTINGUISHED JUDGES: ROSE SMITH, STEVE ABBOTT, NANCY KANGAS. [ APPLAUSE ]>>AND SO, QUITE FRANKLY — AT THE END OF THE DAY — THEY GOT OLD AND DIED. OKAY SURE, BUT QUITE FRANKLY –>>I DIDN’T THINK THAT I WAS GIVING UP ONE LIFE TO GET ANOTHER, THAT EVEN CHILDHOOD WAS FULL OF SACRIFICE.>>SHE ARRIVED AT THE COUNTRY MANSION IN A SILVER LIMOUSINE.>>I MUST WRITE THE SAME POEM OVER AND OVER, FOR AN EMPTY PAGE IS THE WHITE FLAG OF THEIR SURRENDER.>>AT NIGHT, WIND RIPPLED SAXOPHONES THAT HUNG LIKE WIND CHIMES IN PAWNSHOP WINDOWS, HOOTING THROUGH EACH HORN.>>I FEAR AND HOPE. I BURN AND FREEZE LIKE ICE.>>I LIKE THE GENEROSITY OF NUMBERS. THE WAY, FOR EXAMPLE, THEY ARE WILLING TO COUNT ANYTHING OR ANYONE.>>I AM OFFERING THIS POEM TO YOU, SINCE I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO GIVE.>>I AM WEARING DARK GLASSES INSIDE THE HOUSE TO MATCH MY DARK MOOD. I HAVE LEFT ALL THE SUGAR OUT OF THE PIE.>>IF WE MUST DIE, LET IT NOT BE LIKE HOGS HUNTED AND PENNED IN AN INGLORIOUS SPOT.>>THE STILLNESS IN THE ROOM WAS LIKE THE STILLNESS IN THE AIR BETWEEN THE HEAVES OF STORM –>>BUT THE DAYS GO BY, AND THE LILACS DIE, AND THE TREMBLING BIRDS SEEK COVER.>>FAIRY TALES ARE FULL OF IMPOSSIBLE TASKS: GATHER THE CHIN HAIRS OF A MAN-EATING GOAT, OR CROSS A SULPHURIC LAKE IN A LEAKY BOAT –>>THE RESULTS ARE IN AND I WILL CALL YOU BACK UP. ZOE DOUGLAS, NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL, NORTH ROYALTON. DYLAN ABEL, BEXLEY HIGH SCHOOL, BEXLEY. EMILY ENYAME, WESTERVILLE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, WESTERVILLE. SCARLET FRISHMAN, TOLEDO SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS, TOLEDO. ANNA KAHLE, LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, LIMA. ALEXANDER FLOOD, THE LYCEUM, SOUTH EUCLID. [ APPLAUSE ] MUSIC>>THE SEA IS CALM TONIGHT. THE TIDE IS FULL, THE MOON LIES FAIR UPON THE STRAITS; ON THE FRENCH COAST THE LIGHT GLEAMS AND IS GONE; THE CLIFFS OF ENGLAND STAND, GLIMMERING AND VAST, OUT IN THE TRANQUIL BAY. COME TO THE WINDOW, SWEET IS THE NIGHT-AIR. ONLY, FROM THE LONG LINE OF SPRAY WHERE THE SEA MEETS THE MOON-BLANCHED LAND, LISTEN. YOU HEAR THE GRATING ROAR OF PEBBLES WHICH THE WAVES DRAW BACK, AND FLING, AT THEIR RETURN, UP THE HIGH STRAND, BEGIN, AND CEASE, AND THEN AGAIN BEGIN, WITH TREMULOUS CADENCE SLOW, AND BRING THE ETERNAL NOTE OF SADNESS IN. SOPHOCLES LONG AGO HEARD IT ON THE AEGEAN, AND IT BROUGHT INTO HIS MIND THE TURBID EBB AND FLOW OF HUMAN MISERY; WE FIND ALSO IN THE SOUND A THOUGHT, HEARING IT BY THIS DISTANT NORTHERN SEA. THE SEA OF FAITH WAS ONCE, TOO, AT THE FULL, AND ROUND EARTH’S SHORE LAY LIKE THE FOLDS OF A BRIGHT GIRDLE FURLED. BUT NOW I ONLY HEAR ITS MELANCHOLY, LONG, WITHDRAWING ROAR, RETREATING, TO THE BREATH OF THE NIGHT-WIND, DOWN THE VAST EDGES DREAR AND NAKED SHINGLES OF THE WORLD. AH, LOVE, LET US BE TRUE TO ONE ANOTHER. FOR THE WORLD, WHICH SEEMS TO LIE BEFORE US LIKE A LAND OF DREAMS, SO VARIOUS, SO BEAUTIFUL, SO NEW, HATH REALLY NEITHER JOY, NOR LOVE, NOR LIGHT, NOR CERTITUDE, NOR PEACE, NOR HELP FOR PAIN; AND WE ARE HERE AS ON A DARKLING PLAIN SWEPT WITH CONFUSED ALARMS OF STRUGGLE AND FLIGHT, WHERE IGNORANT ARMIES CLASH BY NIGHT. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>HALF A LEAGUE, HALF A LEAGUE, HALF A LEAGUE ONWARD, ALL IN THE VALLEY OF DEATH RODE THE SIX HUNDRED. “FORWARD, THE LIGHT BRIGADE! CHARGE FOR THE GUNS!” HE SAID. INTO THE VALLEY OF DEATH RODE THE SIX HUNDRED. “FORWARD, THE LIGHT BRIGADE!” WAS THERE A MAN DISMAYED? NOT THOUGH THE SOLDIER KNEW SOMEONE HAD BLUNDERED. THEIRS NOT TO MAKE REPLY, THEIRS NOT TO REASON WHY, THEIRS BUT TO DO AND DIE. INTO THE VALLEY OF DEATH RODE THE SIX HUNDRED. CANNON TO RIGHT OF THEM, CANNON TO LEFT OF THEM, CANNON IN FRONT OF THEM VOLLEYED AND THUNDERED; STORMED AT WITH SHOT AND SHELL, BOLDLY THEY RODE AND WELL, INTO THE JAWS OF DEATH, INTO THE MOUTH OF HELL RODE THE SIX HUNDRED. FLASHED ALL THEIR SABRES BARE, FLASHED AS THEY TURNED IN AIR SABRING THE GUNNERS THERE, CHARGING AN ARMY, WHILE ALL THE WORLD WONDERED. PLUNGED IN THE BATTERY SMOKE RIGHT THROUGH THE LINE THEY BROKE; COSSACK AND RUSSIAN REELED FROM THE SABRE STROKE SHATTERED AND SUNDERED. THEN THEY RODE BACK, BUT NOT — NOT THE SIX HUNDRED. CANNON TO RIGHT OF THEM, CANNON TO LEFT OF THEM, CANNON BEHIND THEM VOLLEYED AND THUNDERED; STORMED AT WITH SHOT AND SHELL, WHILE HORSE AND HERO FELL. THEY THAT HAD FOUGHT SO WELL CAME THROUGH THE JAWS OF DEATH, BACK FROM THE MOUTH OF HELL, ALL THAT WAS LEFT OF THEM, LEFT OF SIX HUNDRED. WHEN CAN THEIR GLORY FADE? O THE WILD CHARGE THEY MADE. ALL THE WORLD WONDERED. HONOUR THE CHARGE THEY MADE. HONOUR THE LIGHT BRIGADE, NOBLE SIX HUNDRED. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>I LOVED HIM NOT; AND YET, NOW HE IS GONE, I FEEL I AM ALONE. I CHECK’D HIM WHILE HE SPOKE; YET, COULD HE SPEAK, ALAS! I WOULD NOT CHECK. FOR REASONS NOT TO LOVE HIM ONCE I SOUGHT, AND WEARIED ALL MY THOUGHT TO VEX MYSELF AND HIM: I NOW WOULD GIVE MY LOVE COULD HE BUT LIVE WHO LATELY LIVED FOR ME, AND, WHEN HE FOUND ëTWAS VAIN, IN HOLY GROUND HE HID HIS FACE AMID THE SHADES OF DEATH. I WASTE FOR HIM MY BREATH WHO WASTED HIS FOR ME! BUT MINE RETURNS, AND THIS LORN BOSOM BURNS WITH STIFLING HEAT, HEAVING IT UP IN SLEEP, AND WAKING ME TO WEEP TEARS THAT HAD MELTED HIS SOFT HEART: FOR YEARS WEPT HE AS BITTER TEARS. MERCIFUL GOD! SUCH WAS HIS LATEST PRAYER, THESE MAY SHE NEVER SHARE. QUIETER IS HIS BREATH, HIS BREAST MORE COLD, THAN DAISIES IN THE MOULD, WHERE CHILDREN SPELL, ATHWART THE CHURCHYARD GATE, HIS NAME AND LIFE’S BRIEF DATE. PRAY FOR HIM, GENTLE SOULS, WHOE’ER YOU BE, AND OH! PRAY TOO FOR ME. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>THE THICK-WALLED ROOM’S CAVE-DARKNESS, COOL IN SUMMER, SOOTHES BY SAYING, THIS IS THE TRUTH, NOT THE TAUT CICADA-STRUMMED DAYLIGHT. REST HERE, OUT OF THE FLAME. THE THICK AIR IS STIRRED BY THE FAN’S FOUR SLOW-MOVING SPOONS; UNDER THE HOUSE THE STONE HAS ITS FEET IN DEEP WATER. OUTSIDE, EVEN THE SUN GOD, DRESSED IN THIS LIFE AS A LIZARD, ABRUPTLY RISES ON STIFF LEGS AND DESCENDS BLAS… TOWARDS THE SHADOWS. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>I LOVED THEE FROM THE EARLIEST DAWN, WHEN FIRST I SAW THY BEAUTY’S RAY, AND WILL, UNTIL LIFE’S EVE COMES ON, AND BEAUTY’S BLOSSOM FADES AWAY; AND WHEN ALL THINGS GO WELL WITH THEE, WITH SMILES AND TEARS REMEMBER ME. I’LL LOVE THEE WHEN THY MORN IS PAST, AND WHEEDLING GALLANTRY IS O’ER, WHEN YOUTH IS LOST IN AGE’S BLAST, AND BEAUTY CAN ASCEND NO MORE, AND WHEN LIFE’S JOURNEY ENDS WITH THEE, O, THEN LOOK BACK AND THINK OF ME. I’LL LOVE THEE WITH A SMILE OR FROWN, ëMID SORROW’S GLOOM OR PLEASURE’S LIGHT, AND WHEN THE CHAIN OF LIFE RUNS DOWN, PURSUE THY LAST ETERNAL FLIGHT, WHEN THOU HAST SPREAD THY WING TO FLEE, STILL, STILL, A MOMENT WAIT FOR ME. I’LL LOVE THEE FOR THOSE SPARKLING EYES, TO WHICH MY FONDNESS WAS BETRAYED, BEARING THE TINCTURE OF THE SKIES, TO GLOW WHEN OTHER BEAUTIES FADE. AND WHEN THEY SINK TOO LOW TO SEE, REFLECT AN AZURE BEAM ON ME. [ APPLAUSE ]>>WHEN, IN DISGRACE WITH FORTUNE AND MEN’S EYES, I ALL ALONE BEWEEP MY OUTCAST STATE, AND TROUBLE DEAF HEAVEN WITH MY BOOTLESS CRIES, AND LOOK UPON MYSELF AND CURSE MY FATE, WISHING ME LIKE TO ONE MORE RICH IN HOPE, FEATURED LIKE HIM, LIKE HIM WITH FRIENDS POSSESSED, DESIRING THIS MAN’S ART AND THAT MAN’S SCOPE, WITH WHAT I MOST ENJOY CONTENTED LEAST; YET IN THESE THOUGHTS MYSELF ALMOST DESPISING, HAPLY I THINK ON THEE, AND THEN MY STATE, LIKE TO THE LARK AT BREAK OF DAY ARISING FROM SULLEN EARTH SINGS HYMNS AT HEAVEN’S GATE; FOR THY SWEET LOVE REMEMBERED SUCH WEALTH BRINGS THAT THEN I SCORN TO CHANGE MY STATE WITH KINGS. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>OKAY, THE RESULTS ARE IN. WE ARE GOING TO ANNOUNCE OUR THREE WINNERS. OUR THIRD PLACE WINNER IS EMILY ENYAME, WESTERVILLE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, WESTERVILLE.>>I NOW WOULD GIVE MY LOVE COULD HE BUT LIVE WHO LATELY LIVED FOR ME.>>OUR SECOND PLACE WINNER IS DYLAN ABEL, BEXLEY HIGH SCHOOL, BEXLEY. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>CANNON TO RIGHT OF THEM, CANNON TO LEFT OF THEM, CANNON IN FRONT OF THEM.>>AND NOW, IT’S TIME FOR THE FIRST PLACE PRIZE. THE WINNER OF OHIO’S 14th ANNUAL POETRY OUT LOUD COMPETITION AND OUR NEW POETRY OUT LOUD STATE CHAMPION IS ANNA KAHLE, LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, LIMA.>>AND WHEN ALL THINGS GO WELL WITH THEE, WITH SMILES AND TEARS REMEMBER ME.>>ANNA, WE WISH YOU THE BEST AS YOU AND A CHAPERONE — YOU HAVE TO TAKE A CHAPERONE — TO WASHINGTON D.C., TO REPRESENT OHIO AT THE POETRY OUT LOUD NATIONAL FINALS. IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ANNA WILL COMPETE WITH 52 OTHER STUDENTS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $20,000 PRIZE AND THE TITLE OF NATIONAL POETRY OUT LOUD CHAMPION. WE KNOW THAT YOU’LL MAKE US ALL VERY PROUD. [ APPLAUSE ] MUSIC

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