“She is a million faces crowded into one.
She is sunbaked eyes, pitied picture and smoke skin.
She is thick African roots tumbling down to the center of the earth.”
— an excerpt from the poem, “Boxes,” by Sasha DeSilva, Class of 2016
Putting words together in a poetic way has been a lesson learned by Sasha DeSilva ever since first taking an English class in eighth grade taught by Heather Ewing. She admits to have “forever loved how reading can take you into a whole other world,” but the passion for writing blossomed under Ewing’s wing — taking classes taught by the long-time instructor at Farragut in 9th grade and then again in 12th grade.
“She helped me — and others — tap into that creative spirit,” said Sasha, who will speak at graduation as the Class of 2016 Valedictorian.
Last Saturday night, Sasha was able to showcase her ability to write as she and three other students appeared on WMNF‘s critically acclaimed radio show called Poetry Is…, hosted by Walter “Wally B.” Jennings. The four students – Sasha DeSilva ’16, Drew Geralds ’17, Kenny Stutts ’16 and Kollyne Thomas ’16 – were each able to read their poems after explaining how important of a role Upper School English instructor Heather Ewing has played in their creative minds. In addition, Sasha and Kollyne were able to talk about the creation of The Poetry Club at Farragut, an extracurricular activity they began with former student Sara Graves three years ago.
For Kenny, who took the lead as the first speaker, it was a chance to show the side of him that isn’t “the serious, engineering type” with his poem, “Indubitably,” about the “preposterous words my friends and I invented to change things up.”
For Drew, it was “Anything but,” a poem she created as “a way to know and understand our generation.”
For Kollyne, it was a chance to share a part of the award-winning collection called “Motel,” a string of three poems written at different stages of her life about teen love that was recognized with a Gold Key in the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
For Sasha, it was a platform to inspire the world with “Boxes,” a poem inspired by an NPR story she read in 9th grade about a Kenyan girl who was raped by six men to a point where she is in a wheelchair and the men went unpunished.
“It totally enraged me. I wanted to give her a voice. The poem addresses a larger issue of a rape culture that manifests itself around the world. This issue affects me not only as a woman but as an incoming freshman, learned more about it in the documentary The Hunting Game.”
For Mrs. Ewing, it was an opportunity to let the listening audience of Tampa Bay hear how remarkable the students at Farragut are.
“It’s really important for our students to get involved in different things and to have these four students represent Farragut in this way shows how multi-faceted our kids are and how great our school is,” Mrs. Ewing said. “I think it’s good for people to see and listen to how incredibly talented and intelligent our students are.”
Please take some time to listen to the inspirational words of each of these students by clicking here.