Descriptive Essay On The Poem 'All The Lights'

1773 Words 8 Pages
All The Lights

I clench my fist tightly. Twenty-one blinking faces stare me down. I look down at my paper, feeling tears rising from wherever tears come from to the corners of my eyes. I blink them back. “Dormant breathing, constant searching, I am alert…..” I stumble over the last words in my poem, the class courteously claps, and I shuffle to my seat in one sweeping motion. We had been assigned to write a poem on our perception of current events in the world. Writing the poem was fairly easy as I was a very opinionated girl, and wrote poetry on my spare time for fun. The catch was our teacher, Mr. Stephens, didn’t tell us we had to perform until we had all finished writing our poems. If I’d know
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The whistling, whoo-hoo, kind of clap. The embarrassing kind. I feel the blood rush to my cheeks and almost run to my seat. I glue myself back to my seat, out of the corner of my eye, I see my teacher smile and nod in my direction. One more performance to go before they deliberate.

We come back from our 30 minute deliberation break, the tension palpable in the air. I curl and uncurl my toes in my nice shoes. The screeching lady goes up to the microphone and starts screeching the usual 'don 't-feel-bad-if-you-lost ' speech.

"After much deliberation, we are excited to announce the winners for the Ron McCurdy Langston Hughes Project. Give a round of applause for Maria Belvedere, and Vanessa Attah!

My breath catches in my throat. Thanks, good-luck shoes.

The next week is filled with staring in the mirror and reciting endlessly. Maria and me recite our poetry to each other until we 're sick of hearing them both. My mom, excited as can be, buys me a dress with jewelry to match. The days flash by.

I slip on my good luck shoes, black ballet flats with a golden bow, and head for the car. I check my make up and hair twice on the way here, but still feel the need to check it a third time as we pull in the parking lot. We were instructed to come early to practice and meet the stage crew. I spot Maria.

"Hey! How are you?"

"Nervous", she
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I will not make a fool out of myself. I use my hands, I stare directly at the audience, I speak loud and clear. For a moment, I do not feel like myself. I feel liberated. The words gush naturally out of my throat, I know them like a mother knows her baby 's cry.

I finish my poem, and I know that I gave it my all. The crowd pauses, and I want, more than anything, for them to clap for me. And they do. The whistling, whoo-hoo, kind. The embarrassing kind.

I go on to perform again for People TV less than a month later. This time, I 'm less shy, as I 've grown to feel more confident in my abilities as a poet and a writer. I pushed myself out of my boundaries and I 'm now more self-assured for it. I now know that all I have to do is liberate myself and just start talking; everything will be okay, if I just start talking. My 11th grade literature teacher changed me as a person. Sometimes all you need is someone to see your potential and push you out of your comfort zone. I learned how to trust myself. I learned that if you work hard for something, and give all that you could possibly give, everything will be okay. I never thought I 'd never be someone who can stand in front of hundreds of people and share something as deep and secret as a poem. But as they say, never say

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