2017 Shakespeare's Birthday Sonnets


Hillary Foxx
6th Grade, Sidwell Friends School

The Undertow

The clear blue waves crashed on the quiet shore;
They called my name to come to take a swim;
The troubled waters looked as if at war;
The chances of survival seemed quite slim.

Oh why did I decide to take a dive?
The tide so quickly swallows my whole frame;
When will the red shorts finally arrive?
My seven years could not have been in vain.

I heard a whistle sounding miles away;
And then a stranger came to grab my hand;
He pulled me to the shore without delay;
I fell upon the hot and rocky sand.

Do not ignore the perils down below;
Beware the dangers of the undertow!



Sydney Mann
6th Grade, Sidwell Friends School

Not Here Or There, But Always In The Heart

Pain, sorrow, and an unexpected loss
I let her go as life slipped away
Through my clenched fists, our paths not to cross
I cannot go to the place she shall stay

Without goodbye I try to say you’re near
Not here or there, but always in the heart
that beats for life, a sound I’ll always here
many a kind trait she urged to impart

she told me to be sure I don't forget
that she’s in me, she’s in the life I choose
she’s in my soul, there when I’m all upset
or sad, she is everywhere, and it shows

she is, she was, she’s mine, I have her name
a gift to show she’s here, she’s just the same.



Elisabeth Snyder
8th grade, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School


I hear the crowd applaud and speak my name,
My heart begins to pound inside my chest.
Their whistling, clapping sets my mind aflame,
But now it’s time to smile and do my best.
My brain is full of words and thoughts to share,
But when I reach the stage my mind is void:
I’m frozen in this second while they stare,
A lonely girl whose plans are all destroyed.
Yet, in a snap, my fears are all allayed;
I’ve calmly freed my anxious butterflies.
I proudly speak, no longer scared nor staid,
A flightless bird whose wings now brush the skies.
When I am through, they clap and cheer once more,
For I’m a nestling, proving I can soar.



Grace Tarpgaard
8th grade, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School

The Chains

A sad, lost man sits hushed among the chains,
He’s trapped in his heart’s taint and tragic past.
Alone, he’s forced to face the truth; his pains.
He needs to learn some better ways to last.

He ponders how to cause a lasting shift,
To break the iron chains that hold him still.
Attempt and fail, he tries to cross the rift.
The challenge never stops, but try he will.

At last he makes the change that came unearthed,
Discov’ring that the chains lie in his mind.
Perspective is the key to his rebirth,
No more will darkness take up all his time.

The chains are broken, light and love is found.
A bright, new outlook saves he who was bound.



Sophia Sorensen

Blood and Water

Though from shared mother’s womb we were not cast,
And neither blood of fathers is the same,
The bonds we have are of the kind that last,
Yet are not formed by way of common name.
Our faces are as like as night and day,
And different is the shade of hair that grows,
But ours is love that time can not decay,
And never could be writ in po’m or prose.
Our lives are bound, tis you my heart adores
As like a sister God did not bestow,
Your kin is mine as much as mine is yours,
And from this love, our houses only grow.
For fam’ly is not made of flesh and bone,
But found where hearts no longer rest alone.



William Cooke

Sonnet of a peacock

Nobody knows me better than myself.
Yet, selfless being, do I truly know
The face reflecting from my mirrored shelf?
Entrancèd stand I, courted by a beau
And thus, reflecting on myself, I woo.
Alas, to say such things would be to err
(Ere have I boasted pride and fallen through)
But to deny it would dub me unfair.
But, to be taken by such beautied face
Means taking off my cloak of modesty
And beauty, once unmodest, is disgrace,
So knowing not my grace with honesty,
     I leave. But still must people cherish me,
     So must I write and thereby perfect be.