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Bohatch, Thompson compose, perform in Poetry Out Loud

Emily Bohatch and Kadijah Thompson, both juniors at Bob Jones High School, won the school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition.

Bohatch and Thompson then advanced to the Region 5 Statewide Competition at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Poetry Out Loud has two levels of competition — recitation and original poetry. “Poems for recitation are selected from the Poetry Out Loud website (poetryoutloud.org),” sponsor Sheila Hadden said. Each student must choose and memorize three poems, one with 25 lines or less and one written before the 20th century.

The student must write the original poem that he or she performs.

“Students are scored according to physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy,” Hadden said. “The same scoring rubric is used for both recitation and original poetry.”

Thompson’s poem choices included “Kindness” by Yusef Komunyakaa, “Thoughtless Cruelty” by Charles Lamb and “Discrimination” by Kenneth Rexroth, her favorite.

From “Discrimination,” Thompson read:

“I don’t mind the human race.

I’ve gotten pretty used to them

In these past twenty-five years.

I’m sure if given a chance

They’d kill us all in our beds.

And you must admit, they smell.”

“Kadijah possesses a certain stage presence and charisma that carried her as far as she went,” Hadden said. Kadijah’s parents are Patrick and Tesha Thompson.

Both Thompson and Bohatch entered the competition for their writing class’ requirement. Emily Bohatch recited her original poem, “Untitled”:

“Simple, when you know the war is coming

That you won’t be blindsided by unforeseen factors

That we can forget about he and she

And live in a world of us and we.”

“Emily believes she was successful because she is in Destination Imagination and is accustomed to performing in front of an audience,” Hadden said. “Also, she felt a personal connection to the poem she wrote and was able to put lots of emotion into it.”

Emily’s parents are Carol and Robby Bohatch.

“Both girls did a fabulous job at the competition,” Hadden said. “I was very proud of them.”

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