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11th Grade

Poetry 2

Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)
Baz Luhrmann


Ladies and gentleman
to the class of '97
wear sunscreen
if I could offer you only one tip for the future
sunscreen would be it
the long term benefits of sunscreen
have been proven by scientists
whereas the rest of my advice
has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now...

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
never mind
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
until they've faded
but trust me
in twenty years you'll look back at photos of yourself
you'll recall in a way you can't grasp now
how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous
you really looked
you are not as fat as you imagined
don't worry about the future
or worry and know that worrying is about as effective as
trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum
the real troubles in your life
are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
the kind that blind sides you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday
do one thing everyday that scares you
don't be reckless with other people's hearts
don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
don't waste your time on jealousy
sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind
the race is long
and in the end it's only with yourself
remember the compliments you receive
forget the insults
if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements
don't feel guilty if you don't know what to do with your life
the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22
what they wanted to do with their lives
some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't
get plenty of calcium
be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't
maybe you'll have kids, maybe you won't
maybe you'll divorce at 40
maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75 wedding anniversary
whatever you do
don't congratulate yourself too much
or berate yourself either
your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's
enjoy your body
use it every way you can
don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it
it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own
even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
read the directions, even if you don't follow them
do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Brother and sister
together we will make it through
Some day a spirit will take you
and guide you there
I know you've been hurting
but I've been waiting to be there for you
and I'll be there just helping you out
whenever I can

Get to know your parents
you never know when they'll be gone for good
be nice to your siblings
they're your best link to your past
and the people most likely to stick with you in the future
understand that friends come and go
but with a precious few they should hold on
work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
where as the older you get the more you need the people you knew
when you were young
live in New York City once
but leave before it makes you hard
live in northern California once
but leave before it makes you soft
accept certain inalienable truths
prices will rise
politicians will fillander
you too will get old and when you do
you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable
politicians were noble and children respected their elders
respect your elders
don't expect anyone else to support you
maybe you'll have a trust fund
maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse
but you never know when either one might run out
don't mess too much with your hair
or by the time your 40 it will look 85
be careful whose advice you buy

but be patient with those who supply it
advice is a form of nostalgia
dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal
wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
and recycling it for more than it's worth
but trust me - on the sunscreen



A Poem About Responsibility by Charles Osgood
There was a most important job that needed to be done,
And no reason not to do it, there was absolutely none.
But in vital matters as this, the thing you have to ask
Is who exactly will it be who'll carry out the task?
Anybody could have told you that everybody knew
That this was something somebody would surely have to do.
Nobody was unwilling; anybody had ability.
But nobody believed that it was their responsibility.
It seemed to be a job that anybody could have done,
If anybody thought he was supposed to be the one.
But since everybody recognized that anybody could,
Everybody took for granted that somebody would.
But nobody told anybody that we are aware of,
That he would be in charge of seeing it was taken care of.
And nobody took it on himself to follow through,
And do what everybody thought that somebody would do.
When what everybody needed so did not get done at all,
Everybody was complaining that somebody dropped the ball.
Anybody then could see it was an awful crying shame,
And everybody looked around for somebody to blame.
Somebody should have done the job
And everybody should have,
But in the end Nobody did
What Anybody could have. 

I don't know why my favorite color is green
Or why I'm so pleasant when I could be so mean
I don't know why my favorite number is five
Or why I like the classics and don't care for jive
I don't know why my favorite season is fall -
Could be the cool nights, brilliant colors and all
I'm not at all sure why I like the things I do
But it's probably because I'm me and not you! 

Today we had some weather
like I've never seen before,
so I pulled on my galoshes
and I headed out the door.
It sprinkled, first so lightly,
it could easily be mist.
A tornado then came dancing by,
it swung and did the twist.
The fogbanks opened up their vaults
and let out all their fogs,
and the dog pound took a pounding;
it was raining cats and dogs.
It started raining buckets,
then the rain came down in sheets.
I had never seen so many
sheets and buckets in the streets.
I'd planned to watch the weather
and, though gallantly I tried,
when it started hailing taxis
I gave up and went inside.

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Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted
 ~Percy Shelley, A Defence of Poetry, 1821
R. M. Hutchins