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From Green Day to Google Translate: this week’s Poetry Cafe

Julia Robbins

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The weather this past Monday I period was cold and gloomy, but inside of Olshan Lobby students gathered around candles, albeit not real ones, listening to members of their community perform poetry and music.
Around 15 students and one teacher performed poetry that they had written or that was meaningful to them.
This past Poetry Cafe was the third poetry café in the last two years, President of Poetry Out Loud Claire Yoo (11) said. In past years, mostly upperclassmen and Manuscript or Poetry Out Loud members have attended the event, so this year there was more advertising in order to increase the variety of students participating, Yoo said.
Upper Division Director of Student Activities Caroline Bartels planned most of the event and Manuscript co-Events Planner Gavin Delanty (11) helped with planning and advertising.
Alexis Fry (9) delivered a poem inspired by her grandmother, Dorcy Go-Puan Seng, “who grew up in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation in the 1940s,” she said. Her grandmother and her five siblings had to go into hiding to escape death because Seng’s father wrote anti-Japanese articles in the newspaper he owned, she said.
Delanty read a poem that “was originally the first paragraph of a Japanese paper [Yoo] was writing,” he said. Google translate “skewed her words,” and Delanty asked Yoo if he could read the new product aloud.
“Talking in front of a mic was kind of stressful, but it was really a good experience to hear other people’s work,” Natalie Sweet (9) said.
Jonathan Mong (9) sang two songs by Green Day because he is a fan of the band and believes that the lyrics of the songs have relevance in today’s political climate, Mong said.
Mong played and sang the songs “21 Guns” and “Good Riddance,” which had the audience clapping along to the sentimental music’s tune.
The Poetry Cafe went very well, and it seemed like the people who attended the event had fun, Delanty said.

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From Green Day to Google Translate: this week’s Poetry Cafe