Rambam 2017: Heroic on the Holidays
Oct
31
1:00 PM13:00

Rambam 2017: Heroic on the Holidays

“Heroic on the Holidays”

-Poets are invited to perform two poems.  

-A poet will have 4 minutes maximum to perform both poems.  

-The poems do not have to be connected though they will be read back-to-back.

The format and topics for the poems are:

1. The first poem is the day's theme, "Heroic on the Holidays." 

Poems should use heroic couplets to create a narrative that revolves around holidays. It could be about something that happened to them or their family, an evocation of the holidays during Biblical times, or a story they've made up, but it must be take place on a holiday and/or involve the themes of the holiday. 

2.  Jews in the News: Headlines

Write a Free Verse Poems inspired by something you read or may have read about Jews in a headline in a newspaper.  That is just your starting point but it should in some way or another deal with the way the media, or society at large, sees Jews.  

Students' poems should be reviewed by the coach or teacher prior to performance and poems should be respectful of and appropriate for the yeshiva setting. 

Five winners will be chosen, Best Poet, Best Poet Honorable Mention, Best Heroic Couplet Poem, Best Free Verse, 

All winners will earn plaques!

 

Poets will be judged based on, but not limited to, content, presentation, creativity, adherence to theme, adherence to form, time management, and originality. Poets should bring three extra copies of their poems to share with the judges. 

Please make sure your team eats lunch before arriving.  Snacks will be served.

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Feb
16
12:30 PM12:30

SAR Slam: The Stranger

 

What: 4th Annual SAR HS Poetry Slam!

When: Tuesday, February 16, 2016, from 12:30-3:30

Theme: "The Stranger" (See below for more information)

Requirements: Single performance and performer; any poetic form; 3 minute maximum! (See below for judging rubric)

Other: A snack will be served. 

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Elaboration on Theme: "The Stranger":

Students are invited to address the theme of "The Stranger" in a poetic and meaningful way. 

Poems might address any of the following questions in any sort of poetic form and performance: 

Who is the Stranger? How should we treat them? Where does the familiar end andthe Stranger begin? How do we experience others and ourselves as strange and familiar? What is our responsibility towards the strange and familiar? What are our narratives of the strange/Stranger? What are our religous histories and obligations around the strange and Stranger?

Background: Immigration is a controversial topic in the upcoming US election.The Syrian refugee crisis is inviting intense political debate. There are more refugees in the world since the end of WWII. Jewish students, in particular, read about these issues through the Torah's command to honor and act towards theStranger. 

Elaboration on Requirement and Judging:

Students should be encouraged to be expressive in their performances and to explore both original and deeply personal affects, themes, memories, and questions of identity. 

Judges' rubrics will include categories for

1. comfort and elegance of presentation, 

2. creative interpretation of the topic and original thematic content, 

3. original use of language (diction, figurative language, poetic devices),

4. overall success at moving and inspiring the judges and audience. 

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Dec
17
11:00 AM11:00

Kushner: Childhood/If Only...

Poets are invited to perform two poems.  A poet will have 3 minutes maximum to perform both poems. 

The format and topics for the poems are:

1. One Free Verse poem about the topic “If only…”

2.  One Catena Rondo about childhood. What was it like to be a Jewish child? You can revisit memories of early childhood or discuss later childhood and early adolescent years.

Winners will be chosen in the categories of “Best Poet,” “Best Poet Honorable Mention,” “Best Free Verse Poem,” “Best Catena Rondo Poem” and “Best Presenter.”

Poets will be judged based on, but not limited to, content, presentation, creativity, adherence to theme, adherence to form, time management, and originality. 

Lunch will be served.

Catena Rondo - This form is the brainchild of Robin Skelton. It is a refrain-based Quatrain which uses repetition of lines to build itself. This creates a lyrical, almost melodic sounding poem. The opening line of stanza 1 is repeated as the last line of Stanza 1, and the second and third lines form a rhyming couplet. Lines 1 and 4 of Stanza 2 are line 2 of Stanza 1, Lines 1 and 4 of Stanza 3 are line 2 of Stanza 2, and so on. The stanzas fold in to each other, built around the middle rhyming couplet. Any number of stanzas can be created this way and the final stanza is a repeat of the first.

Essentially it looks like this: A. B. b. A..... B. C. c B…. C. D. d. C….(you can include however many stanzas you’d like) ... (ending with)  A. B. b. A.....

There is no set meter. Here is an example:

  

This Unremitting Press (Catena Rondo)

 

This unremitting press of being poor—

complete with skills no affluence can train—

has meant the acquisition of no gain.

This unremitting press of being poor,

 

complete with skills no affluence can train—

this trudging on with trudging on—continues,

complete with time spent finding cheaper menus

(complete with skills no affluence can train).

 

This trudging on with trudging on continues—

unto what end my humor cannot guess,

smothered as it’s become by ambient stress.

This trudging on with trudging on continues—

 

unto what end my humor cannot guess

(for laughing at myself includes at Fate),

nor would it want to, lest it grow irate

(unto what end my humor cannot guess,

 

for laughing at myself includes at Fate).

The unkempt villain of my tragedy

has stirred no ounce of sympathy in me,

for laughing at myself includes at Fate,

 

the unkempt villain of my tragedy.

It’s never had a face! (I give it none.)

And yet by machination it’s become

the unkempt villain of my tragedy.

 

It’s never had a face:  I give it none

this unremitting press of being poor

would recognize (I am myself its spoor).

It’s never had a face!  (I give it none.)

 

This unremitting press of being poor—

complete with skills no affluence can train—

has meant the acquisition of no gain,

this unremitting press (of being poor).

  

© Gary Kent Spain, 3 years ago

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Oct
27
12:45 PM12:45

Rambam Mesivta: "To the Past: A Conversation with a Jew from Yesterday"

Poets are invited to perform two poems.  A poet will have 4 minutes maximum to perform both poems.  The poems do not have to be connected though they will be read back-to-back.

 The format and topics for the poems are:

1. One Free Verse poem as a conversation between the poet and a Jew from the past.

2.  One Quatern on any topic (though poems connected to the theme of the day are encouraged).

Please note that the content of the poems must be approved by your coach and/or school administrator and that all content must be free from explicit language and content.

Winners will be chosen in the categories of “Best Poet,” “Best Poet Honorable Mention,” “Best Free Verse Poem,” “Best Quztern Poem” and “Best Presenter.”

All winners will earn plaques!

Poets will be judged based on content, presentation, creativity, adherence to theme, adherence to form, time management, and originality. 

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May
14
11:00 AM11:00

Kushner Slam: Color and Poetry

11 am on Thursday, May 14,  2015 at Kushner High School.

Students are asked to write poems on 2 different topics. The first topic is “color” and the form for this poem is free verse.

The second poem’s topic is “judgement.” For this poem, students are asked to write a poem with a repeating refrain. It can be a line which repeats in each stanza or a stanza itself which is repeated.

Students will be given five minutes to perform both poems.

Students will be judged for their use of language, their adherence to the stated poetic form, their approach to the theme, the quality of their performance, and their overall success at moving the judges and the audience.  Awards will be given to the top four poets.  The judges are published poets, writers and educators.

About the Themes:

Color We live in a world of color, but that does not mean we see the same things. We have our own associations with color. Maybe some of us don’t even see color, but instead live in a monochromatic world. This topic allows the students to explore the texture of the world around them as filtered through color.

Judgement Whether from personal experience or listening to the news about the world around them, students live lives touched by judgement, maybe even buried beneath judgement. Students are asked to consider either a specific experience of judgement or the phenomenon, in general. The poem has to have a repeating refrain which would underscore their particular topic.

 

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Mar
30
11:30 AM11:30

SAR Slam (Rescheduled)

What: 3rd annual SAR HS poetry slam!

WhenMonday, March 30, 2015, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm!

Requirements: Collaborative performances only--in other words, each slam must include more than one performer (and may include as many as you wish!). We encourage experimenting with this medium, though slams must not exceed 5 minutes total.

Please Note: Lunch will be served!

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