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  • 1. THE STRUGGLE: An Anthology of Ecphrasis Poetry About the Israel-Palestine Conflict Newtown Friends School The Class of 2012
  • 2. Introduction Ecphrasis i th i id d i ti E h i is the vivid description of something, usually a f thi ll work of art. This style of poetry originated in Ancient Greece. The most commonly cited example is Homer’s vivid description of the shield of Achilles in The Iliad. Modern poets use ecphrasis to interpret and speak to paintings, drawings, photographs and other art forms. Ecphrasis allows poets and readers to empathize with human suffering, and is thus the perfect genre for the Israel- Israel Palestine conflict which has brought pain to so many. As part of a broader unit of study on human rights, sixth g graders at Newtown Friends School studied the history ofy f this conflict and its impact on children. Each student chose a photograph and wrote an original ecphrasis poem. The views expressed in their poems aren’t necessarily their own, as some chose to take on a different perspective. - Kristen Sanchez -
  • 3. “Peace is about the simple things and not being greedy.” ~ Sam ~ “I sometimes don’t recognize how lucky I am.” ~ Cl ~ Cleo “Peace does not come easily.” ~ Al Alessandra ~ d “Peace should be cherished more.” ~T l M ~ Tyler M. “Peace is a product of living a happy life without poverty.” ~ Ben ~ “I can spread peace by not using violence to solve problems.” ~ Ty B ~ B. “I can spread peace by doing kind things for others.” ~ Harrison ~
  • 4. When I look at you, I see hope. When I look at your life, I see depressing days. I’m sorry you witness death everyday I wish I could make this all happen to just the suicide bomber. I feel terrible that you’re the one, making the statement about your life. When will you be able to live like a normal kid? Play outside Have fun F lf Feel free And not be, a stuck solider inside a box. That sling shot The little force it has And yet you still have the guts To fight against The powerful, Forceful gun That can kill y with you 1 shot. I feel sad that an innocent kid like you has to suffer because of other people’s problems. A BELIEVER BY LUKE
  • 5. As you stare into the flame A message is whispered into your ear By: Ariele From G-d it shall be “Evil is not the path to heaven” As the flame flickers on You open your eyes And stare deeply into the flame G-d whispers again “Evil is not the path to heaven” Even thought your train of thought is minute G-d is reaching out to you by the power Of the flame “Evil is not the path to Heaven” You are lost in time As you stare into the flame To you, the world is frozen And will never unfreeze Until you’re back in time… y When I look at you staring into that flame the same message is whispered to me So when I think of you this message comes to mind “Evil is not the path to Heaven Evil Heaven”
  • 6. A New Home N H By Tyler
  • 7. Crying Little Jewish Boy I’m scared, too little to know exactly what’s going on Maybe it’s better that way I gaze up into my father’s dark brown eyes; there is fear, The fear of losing his son My ears ring People are screaming with sorrow and worry in their voices Unable to move to watch my surroundings My heart beats faster and faster I am covered in small burns and smoke Barely lingers in my lungs Why did this happen to my family We didn’t do anything wrong I feel weaker then I have ever felt before I am not sure how long I how will keep breathing But I know I am too young to die By Isabel
  • 8. Dear Palestinian refugees, I wish you could go back to your land land. The place where you grew up, And called your home. But now it’s gone, And you will have to find a new land. As you stagger, Grasping each other’s hands, Horrified that your home is gone As you try to find, A new place to call your own A place where there’s no fear.
  • 9. Does it Always Have to Happen? By Harrison B H I am a young boy I just get in the way sometimes I get in the way a lot This time I wasn’t getting in the way I was the target I am Palestinian. But I need some help now, But I need some help now More than ever I am dying And there is nothing I can do To stop it This is a time of war, , A time of hatred And it is a time of, death In other countries, There are no wars about territories Or where people can live, So why do we have that here, Where I am dying Where my family has died Where many have died We all need help We all need help
  • 10. A Scared Face By Hunter I see you I can smell A scared face The sand  Holding the gun up with all your might All across your land I see  I see A scared face I can smell Trying to seem tough The sweat On your face I hear People chanting eop e c a t g Yelling I can taste Your longing for a country I hear  Something of your own Your breath Your heart beat fast I can taste I can taste I can touch The fear on your face Your face I can wish  Knowing it won’t do anything This would all go away with a storm I can touch I can touch I can wish Your hands  Ask you not to do this This weren’t true Hope it would make a difference
  • 11. One Rock By: Sasha My sun, my star, my life Will never again awaken His w m Hi warm, loving eyes will not shine, eye hine Like they used to Now they are closed And never will open His red cheeks full of life Now pale, and cold Lifeless One rock is all it took To take away his life My child was standing up For his land For me Yet punished One time he threw a rock Just once Why did you have to son? Why live If you hate life Why cry If it’s foolish Why wait If nothing pleasant is waiting Just sadness and darkness Overcoming me A punishment For what Throwing that one rock But now, It doesn’t matter anymore His life Washed away Him lying in Cold, hard darkness With nothing My light He’s gone forever My life Will never move again Because of that one rock.
  • 12. Friend By Marie-Louise Friend Come back Why can’t you come back to the world in which you belong? Come back to the world when we were little And we used to run from street to street barefoot Kicking the black and white soccer ball until it deflated Where a bead of sweat trickled off the tip of my nose I wish you would come back to the days when we would look up  to the sweltering sun  g And scream, “Please go away! It is too hot for us to play!” Then my grandmother would burst out of the front door And tell us to be quiet before Uncle came home and got upset But now it’s over There are no memories of those days There are no memories of those days In that world It’s all gone now Where are you now? I miss you Friend i d
  • 13. Gone By Emma Back there is my only family my life my heart I need to see him One more time i How can you drag me away, from everything I ever had, I ever loved? Your eyes are black holes emotionless yet they sparkled when you watched the life, the love vanish from his eyes. His eyes That used to be filled with warmth and light now dull, lifeless His soul is gone He is free but I am still here stuck in a world full of hatred, war and no mercy. Dirt blowing in my eyes Dry and bitter An excuse for tears The blistering sun scorching an excuse for exhaustion What did he do? One rock can’t kill you. i Dying would have been less painful than watching him die. Now he is gone Forever.
  • 14. I am a Hero I woke up today As Rashid Just another Palestinian And I can feel the Blood Blood, In the large city of Ramallah Sticky and warm, Full of people Different, Just Evil. Like They are evil, Me. Allah resents them, Only wanting I am doing what is right, To live in my own country. country What i b t Wh t is best Then, I was just For me, A man For my people, Just going to the store For a better life. To get ripe fruits And I know For his elderly mother. I will go to a better Place I am here now After I die. As Rashid People are going to know my name, The man who seized an opportunity Rashid, And brought Palestine The liberator. One step closer I will be in a poster To breaking free from the tyranny the wall of a Palestinian child’s Bedroom. On Imposed on innocent people By the Israelis. I am a hero now. h But what of tomorrow? And with my own hands There will be consequences. I have killed Will the Israelis close the border? One of them, Will they bulldoze my mother’s house? Will they send bombs? How can I think about Faraj and Joni, The two little boys That li down th street? Th t live d the t t? Will they not be able To grow old Just because I tried to be a hero? Will I be able to wake up, Look at myself in the mirror, And not feel guilt? And what of my mother? Will she be ashamed To think of me As her son? And did my actions Send us one step forward Or Ten spaces Backwards? No, I did the right thing. Right?
  • 15. By Dennis I hate the tanks All I hear is the rumbling of tanks All I hear is the rumbling of tanks And shouts of angry people Exhaust fills my lungs As I pick up a rock As I pick up a rock I will throw the rock There is nothing else to throw But will they shoot me?  I will throw the rock I do not care I hate the tanks
  • 16. When I’m playing When I’m playing Football in my backyard You don’t even know what type of ‘football’ I’m talking about Because you will never get to experience A amusing childhood And your backyard Is just a bunch of jagged rubble Is just a bunch of jagged rubble Where you don’t even get the opportunity to have fun I look at you How do you even describe the word fun And I see a person In a way that I can understand Who fights And that mask on your face For hope I’ve written all of this and I can’t even see your face And as I look at you And yet y I think to myself I think to myself I know What do I really see? That if you take that mask off What I really see is a child You will be killed With no enjoyable childhood And when I ever put on a mask  And risking his life It is for the joy of skiing For what he thinks is right On the great mountains in Colorado If I had that gun If I had that gun Oh yeah That you forcefully hold up I’m talking to you In the air Who will never get to feel what I describe as joy I would be punished Even when I fall  Instead When I’m skiing  You are encouraged I get back up With your dad As for you As for you Holding you up in the air Who will one time  With pride Fall  Like how proud my dad is when And never get up again I get an A+ on a huge project If only Even though I was there We are in different scenarios To stand by you To stand by you We have the same feelings For  You are fighting for  Not the differences of us What your definition of right is  But for the similarities I fight  That bring us together For the ball
  • 17. 100 Generations By: Dylan B Dl
  • 18. It’s What Surrounds You I m sorry I’m sorry That you have to live in such a time So much hatred and war revolve around you Palestinian suicide bombers remove the lives of many You see and hear explosions every day You see and hear explosions every day Gun fire as well And violence is just a daily thing In a place where y g Wherever you go You hear the sounds of soldiers marching You feel the pain of people mourning And you can’t shake the sense of utter hopelessness I can’t even imagine  What it would be like To have all this hatred surround me I’m sure you see blood almost every day I think You shouldn’t have to. h ld ’ h By Brandon
  • 19. Can’t We Live as  Destruction All around me One? Rocks all around b b A bomb goes off ff By I trip over my clumsy feet I feel as if I’m falling Like there is no bottom to this endless plunge Katharine The ice cold wind bites my cheeks Young kids run and play in the streets Parents watch and smile As if nothing is wrong As if everything is all right Even though I feel as if I’m still falling A bus blows up nearby Children and parents scream  I drag my feet along the ground The soldiers yell words in a language I don’t understand My arms ache  I don’t know where I’m going  I stumble again But I stumble on a rock this time I feel pain in my left leg The soldiers look down They whisper words quietly among themselves I still don’t understand The sky turns a deep gray and rain begins to fall My leg stings from the rain water rushing down from the sky I believe that my Jadd and Jaddah are crying Crying for me Crying for the horrible things that happen down here  In this Holy Land y I want to be with them I want to cry with them for I don’t wish to stay down here I want to know what it is like up there But mostly, I don’t want to be here on earth I would go any place that is not here p y p The clouds part in the sky and the rain comes to a stop My leg feels better The soldiers let go of me I’m unaware of where I am It’s dark and cold And as soon as I know it I’m floating up there with just memories That will soon be  Forgotten.
  • 20. Alessandra Little Brother Little Brother is what I call you don t feeling, I don’t know what you are feeling Do you really know what is going on? Or who you are fighting for? You look brave, But how would I know? Little Brother I am just your big sister, The bandana around your head, Up in here in heaven I gave it to you Little Brother It shows who you are fighting for You’re not old enough to have a gun! Little Brother Point it in the air if you must The fighting, Point it at a soldier if you must It’s a curse Just know Spread among you and your people They’re going to point it It won’t stop Back at you Until you do Little Brother Little Brother That s That’s the way they are I’m sorr I left so soon sorry They walk around It was my way to show you Looking so cool What path you must choose Acting tough Little Brother I wish it was me Don’t be mad at me And I really am Not you Truly sorry
  • 21. To the little Palestinian girl Gazing with those huge brown eyes like those of a doe What are you staring at? With so much fear in your eyes As if you are running from the shadows of death Are you staring at the destruction of your home? Or are you staring at the grave of one of your family members? Are you staring at the soldiers killing an innocent child in cold blood? Without any remorse clouding their gazes Are A you hearing the screams of these innocent people? h h f h l ? Are you worried it will be you or your family next? To the little Palestinian girl Gazing with those huge brown eyes like those of a doe What is going through your mind right now? Do your thoughts spark the same fear that is in your eyes? Are you wondering what is going on right now? Wondering why are so many people being killed? Do you miss some of your friends, who may have died? You lost your childhood innocence when you saw your first death. I am sure that the little flame you are holding sure, Is your hope for a better future. -Eesha The Little Palestinian Girl
  • 22. James
  • 23. My sons I may just be a voice in your head But I am very much real The world around us spins and turns  Just to see you  my sons  You do such things  That could get you killed Even for justice and freedom  You may only be a couple of children  But your power in a rock is your pride  For even in times of no wisdom  You can only hope that this crime will  free your country From Israel’s grasp  For you my sons are only three people  Making a change for your crazy  country  My sons  I hear the soldiers chasing in order to  take your heads I see them nearing to where you stand I see them nearing to where you stand You should try to run away  For although your ideas may be bleak  Your freedom is your pride  You ask for others to return your land  But I may tell you now  That violence is not only the incorrect  answer  But this is a war you cannot win Why don’t you try to cooperate?  And time will fix your problem  My sons  Will you let me tell you now  That there is no way that you can win  Why waste your life  To help your clan  When you have no fighting chance  For words are heard only in your head  That lingers in your brain’s distant sky  For my sons you guys are not quite  thinking  You could do such more if you would  sit down  And devise a plan  BY: Michael
  • 24. Dear Son, I wish I was with you That I could help but I am gone forever forever. You will cry and grieve By: Sara Ma a differe and your heart will be heavy with ake a sorrow . You may feel deserted and alone in all this violence violence. Still, make a change in the atmosphere. Make it happy and cheerful. rence Fill our home with peace Not ith i f d N t with grief and anguish i h Love, Your Mother
  • 25. One Rock By: Sasha My sun, my star, my life Will never again awaken His w m Hi warm, loving eyes will not shine, eye hine Like they used to Now they are closed And never will open His red cheeks full of life Now pale, and cold Lifeless One rock is all it took To take away his life My child was standing up For his land For me Yet punished One time he threw a rock Just once Why did you have to son? Why live If you hate life Why cry If it foolish Why wait If nothing pleasant is waiting Just sadness and darkness Overcoming me A punishment For what Throwing that one rock But now, It doesn’t matter anymore His life Washed away Him lying in Cold, hard darkness With nothing My light He’s gone forever My life Will never move again Because of that one rock.
  • 26. That candle By Nichole y It was always that one candle that made me think. It would make me think of the past and h d how my mother would always say th ld l that my brother would come back to visit me that he is fighting so that we may always live in peace peace. It was that one candle that made me think. It made me think that I would always have a light that would guide my family and I through a better life with peace and forgiveness. It was that one candle that made me think. Of the times where I could smell the smoke from the fire that almost killed my sister but she lived lived. It was that one candle that made me think. About those good and bad times that will never leave my heart.
  • 27. g{x jÉÜwá aÉà fÑÉ~xÇ U f Uç ftÅ Young girl, I have heard your words I have understood your thoughts And I stand here With the smell of dry blood Wafting through the debris-filled air The deep growl of the dozer Flusters my mind On the beautiful eerie filled day That is now mine. I live here to watch my village, My people Scooped up By a wicked bulldozer And dumped where the world is still And no one cares But young girl is it me? Is it I who has done this To your family? Was it my people? You won’t know And I won’t know But what we both do know Is that we do not deserve this; This never-ending war life So I tell you little girl, That I wish good thoughts For you and your family And I wish that you will pray for mine Or at least what is left, Of our family.
  • 28. I wonder where you’re going. As I see your tiny faces rolling by. Your treated this way because you’re Jewish. I say to myself, as I see your tiny faces rolling by. What was wrong with Hitler and his deranged mind He is someone that lived in a world of darkness. . I say to myself, as I see your tiny faces rolling by. Why aren’t I helping you? Speaking up I ask myself, as a see your tiny faces rolling by. Im I’m one in a big world full of many. I know people say take part in the change they want to happen But what can I do to help I ask you, as I see your tiny faces rolling by. I cannot do anything for you I m sorry, I’m sorry As I see your tiny faces rolling by. Where your parents just buried just Dumped in a hole. I ask myself as I see your tiny faces rolling b k lf f ll by. I’m sorry. As I see your tiny, instant faces rolling by.
  • 29. You are not the rightful owner of You are not the rightful owner of This Holy Land I will defend what is right And you can not stop me Little dirty Palestinian Standing there With your sticks and stones  This is You have lost For we are the boss Now our After all that suffering My father’s dream Will become a reality A d h h l ld ill And the whole world will see Country The injustice that has come to Be Yet finally We have conquered  Now This holy land The military force  The military force you will never understand Is what I will use to enforce  The Jewish law And I will help shape The country That belongs to us all That belongs to us all The Jews And the whole world will see The fact that was meant to be Wooyoung This is our country now!
  • 30. By Michael By Michael i smell i see the conflict polluting two boys the air who  could’ve and i sense might ve might’ve God’s presence in  should’ve both of you been best friends i am sorry i see you can’t be friends two boys who live h  li i am sorry  right next to each other you have to but might as well live your life live in separate worlds in fear of what  could or might i hear happen God calling them asking them  i am sorry to learn you feel  that they are both you need a human beings gun i touch And I am sorry the gun that you wondering why two boys the boy feels he needs it can’t be friends
  • 31. I’m scared Afraid Worried, But that little voice inside me tells me to not give up t i That little voice inside me, tells me this is the beginning That mysterious little voice That tiny little voice tells me to walk forward and not look back on the past It tells me to hide from the bombers, not to attack, because this is over, for now That little voice, telling me what to do, helping me h l I believe these are all messages from God, he looks after me, he cares He’s on my side, and we will get back at those terrorists Thank you God, together we will get up and get Back at them, We’ll be unstoppable, just like Two gods -Gretchen
  • 32. Why Not? By Jessie So why can t we? can’t They were at the land That’s rightfully ours So now Why is this wrong? They t thi Th get nothing I’m just playing I’m practicing That flag over there, for when I grow up is why I’m here, when I will be able to protect my country Practicing P i i and show the Palestinians holding that rock solid gun what we’re made of in my young hands It feels amazing You can to smell the rusty smell and feel the power tell us of a gun to stop fighting It d doesn’t matter ’t tt but we that we could hurt the Palestinians, won’t why not? until They send suicide bombers in they everyday do And hurt us
  • 33. Why Is this happening? I wish I could live carefree. I should be able to  Bounce a ball and not fear I might get  and not fear I might get murdered. I should feel the security  Of my home  And family. I know The sounds of destruction Bombs, Killing, Cries, Better than the sounds of The birds that sing “Why?” She sobs. My mother’s tears Let me know  This time is different. i diff t So personal. Why  was I born  Palestinian? Is it my fate Is it my fate to become a martyr? Why Do I sit and Look toward our home Stare at the new rubble that Lays on the ground? I don’t understand Human rights By Conflict Israel’s power  Holy land Endless war Ty Why  Don’t I know Peace?
  • 34. _|ààÄx U _|ààÄ UÉç tÇw g{x _|ààÄ e ~ w g{ _|ààÄx eÉv~ By: YeonJae Lee I know I can’t hurt you with my rock But I want you to know How I feel feel. Can we ever be friends? Can we forget the past? Can we share? I know I can’t hurt you with my little rock but y I will try. I don’t think we can be friends I don’t think we can forget the past I don’t think we can share I know I can’t hurt you with my rock But I want you to know How I feel H f l I want to be your friend I want to forget the ugly past I want to share my land I know I can’t hurt you with my rock But I will try until we are friends friends. I know I can’t hurt you with my rock As your big gray tank looks down at me I want you to climb out so we can talk I want you to know the real me Not the me with rock I know I can’t hurt you with my rock And I will put it down so we can be friends.
  • 35. YOURS OR MINE? Running, feet Soldiers yelling “get out of slapping the l i th the way” way, ground, Tanks, The exhaust, An unmovable force, Like the breath of a Just a boy, compared, devil, To tank, T at k Sounds that most Like a bug people only hear in Under a human foot, movies, , Does there have to be a Tanks the size of a war? large sheds, Why can’t we get along? Rocks and bombs is Why? all we have to fight By Mason back, What to do next, Run away, throw the rock, k Stand still, And die here,