Former Farragut student Sara Graves publishes poetry book on Amazon

“It’s always been a dream of mine to be an author,” said Sara Graves, a classmate of the Admiral Farragut Academy class of 2016. On November 11, 2017, she did just that when her book of poetry, entitled “Light”, became available on Amazon.

Sara has always enjoyed writing. “I used to have journals when I was really young,” she reminisced. “Then I stopped writing when I got into school. Instead, I became a big reader. I remember feeling kind of weird because my friends would have posters on their bedroom walls and I would cut out quotes and post them up on my walls! It wasn’t until (Upper School English teacher Heather) Ewing’s Creative Writing class in middle school when I became interested in poetry.”

Sara attended Farragut until 2014 and was a founding member of the Poetry Club. She was also the daughter of Shannon Graves, the former Head of Upper School. She currently attends the University of Hawaii.

“The entire English Department at Farragut is my inspiration,” Sara continued. “I’m currently majoring in English and minoring in Education, with a goal of teaching English. My dream is to be a ‘Mrs. Ewing’, and touch a student’s life the way she did for me.”

Sara with Upper School English Teacher Mrs. Heather Ewing

Mrs. Ewing wasn’t the main inspiration for Sara to publish her book, though. The book was the result of an idea for a graduation gift for Sara’s long-time friend and fellow Farragut classmate, Zachary Fine ‘17.

“Zach Fine has been one of my biggest supporters,” Sara said. “He always encourages me to write and share my writing. Last year I visited him for his graduation and as a graduation gift I was compiling all my poetry from the past 6 years into a journal for him…but that took way too long and gave me so many hand cramps! I decided to see if I could make a book of it for him. Then I thought, why not make a real book and publish it?”

L-R: Ian Schlifstein ’15, Zach Fine ’17, Evan Schlifstein ’19, and Sara

It was a long process. “I found the website Createspace, which is a sister-site to Amazon. It allows you to format your book and go through all the proper steps to self-publish it. I started compiling my collection of poetry and then pruning poems and adding new writing and editing everything and formatting it all until my words were in book form. It took from June to November, but Zach finally has his graduation present!”

Sara’s writing isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

“Writing is my outlet for everything,” she says. “Everything inspires me! People, emotions, science, interactions, stories, facts. I feel like inspiration is everywhere if you choose to look.”

“Typically my poems kind of start off as stories,” Sara continued. “Then I manipulate them by changing the wording and the format, and adding some rhythm and piecing the lines together to create a poem. If my poems don’t start out as stories then they are just facts I like. I end up writing them down (usually on my hand, my knee, or whatever paper I can find) and the entire poem just hits me right there. One time in class I had an idea for a poem and the entire poem was written on a gum wrapper!”

“I plan to keep writing in the future,” Sara concluded. “Maybe just for myself or maybe I will try to publish another collection of poetry. Either way, I am fascinated with language and stories so I cannot wait to read my future students assignments!”

Though Sara did not graduate from Admiral Farragut Academy, the school made a large impact on her.

“The most important lesson I learned from Farragut was about family,” she said.

“Farragut is a boarding school and even if you aren’t a boarder you are immersed in the life of one and the family of Farragut. I was so lucky to develop relationships with faculty and staff outside of the classroom. Farragut offers a personalized education where the teachers know the type of student you are and the type of person you are, so they are better able to teach and relate to you. Everyone cares about everyone. And the diversity! Farragut is a melting pot of cultures. Not many students have fellow classmates from 20+ countries but at Farragut that is normal! You get a whole new perspective on the world and you’re able to become more of a well informed individual because of the diversity you have grown accustomed to and accepting of. Farragut not only teaches you the required learning material, but also the life lessons of what is really important, what can’t be taught but can be shown: family, culture, love, and acceptance.

the Sun-

She is the biggest, brightest
star in the galaxy;
illuminating the mystery of darkness,
while only occupying an infinitesimal
amount of space.

Full and fiery,
explosive and mesmerizing.
You’re warned not to stare at her
for too long
otherwise, her image
will burn into your eyes.

She’s a blinding brightness.
Who remains happily oxymoronic.

Her golden rays spread everywhere,
touching everything in her path
and everyone.

Except on grey days,
when her shine feels
weak and clouded.

Sometimes she goes missing…
we can’t visibly find her,
we still know she’s there.
We know we will see her again.

She’s made to radiate.
(some days She radiates too well,
leaving temporary burns
on people She meant to share her
abundance of warmth with.)

Even though She’s millions of miles away,
She makes us feel close.
She loves pouring light into peoples’ lives
and shining on everyone’s day.
Planets and people adore her,
revolving around her warmth.

She’s stagnant.

Light years away, unable to communicate.
Wondering if she is fulfilling her purpose
Wondering if she’ll burn out;
as predicted,
like other stars before her have.