69 sophomores in Downey High's Honors English 10 program participated in a poetry contest last week. The poems are modern adaptations of Rabindranath Tagore's (1861-1941) poem "1996," in which he addresses an audience in 1996. Tagore, an Indian writer and a leading activist for independence from British imperialism, published his poem in 1896.Each of the students in the program was encouraged to write a poem reflecting current issues facing society in 2009 for a future audience in 2109. English teachers Ms. Teresa Hill and Ms. Debra Kasner narrowed the submitted poems to a group of semifinalists. From this group, Hill's and Kasner's Honors English 10 students in first, third, and fifth periods voted which poem they liked best. Students decided on the finalists, leaving the teachers a difficult task-choosing the winner. "It was very difficult choosing the winner of the contest because the poems were so well-written," said Kasner, who teaches Honors English 10 first and fifth periods. "Ms. Hill and I asked other English teachers and students in other classes to vote, and we finally found our winner." The winner of the "2109" poetry contest is Sharon Kim, a student in Kasner's fifth period class. "2109" by Sharon Kim The sound of rusted machines, Chugging, chugging, and billows of sooty steam. Endless robotic clones toil away, To benefit us, yet hurt us with their foul poison. The human race will decay. We have proven alchemy, An abandoned philosophy. It can be done! But with opposite the desired effect. The elixir of life we humans already possessed, Now polluted from careless neglect. One, two, three, four, Each creature will in turn become folklore. We will truly be masters of the world, so divine. To you, a hundred years apart, Greetings from 2009. How is life like on a rock in the blank, endless sky, That is gasping and wheezing while hurtling oh-so high? Does the oxygen in your chest, Satisfy the need, meet the demand? If not, you must be quite distressed. The increasing number than inhabit our beloved planet, Consume all of the nutrients, an ominous threat. A hundred years from now, are there enough necessities to survive? My dear friend, If not, we from 2009 quite frankly apologize.
********** Published: June 19, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 9