On Wednesday, November 17, Elai Shine ’12 presented three poems at the monthly Writes of Passage meeting. Shine was selected by submitting his work to the Milken Creative Writing leaders. He writes independently as well as for his Study of Fiction Honors class.
“I have always enjoyed literature. Being able to read my own work was a tremendous honor,” Shine said.
At the meeting, Shine read three poems, “Hunting Men,” “Spiders,” and “Red Balloons.” Each of these poems was a narrative written from first person perspective. All of the poems also held profound meaning and provocative imagery.
“Presenting my work in front of an audience for the first time was a little bit nerve-racking. In the end, many audience members told me that they enjoyed my poems which I was very happy to hear,” Shine said.
Shine attributes his proclivity and deep love for the subject of English to his numerous visits to the library. An avid reader, Shine reads at his local public library each Sunday along with his father, Jewish studies teacher Mr. Jeremy Shine. Shine especially enjoys reading comic books as well as more serious forms of literary expression.
“I can really spend all day reading and writing. I love elements of storytelling and hearing a great story,” Shine said.
In addition to English, Shine has many other talents and passions. He is a skillful member of the Model UN team, known for his wit and timely humor. In addition, he is a Photoshop expert, offering a hand to many seniors on their yearbook pages. He also likes tinkering with techno beats, and is an established DJ by the name of Captain Piratestep.
“Listening to Elai’s work was really interesting. He is such a unique and talented individual,” Lucas Fisher ’11, creative writing leader, said.
Distressed, I lay me down to cry
and found myself a great surprise
that red balloons did leave my eyes
and all the sadness then did die
to strangers did I give balloons
till all but one had left my room
and angry men did yell at me
to give my last balloon for free
and so my mind I did then make
to give to those who chose to take
and plucked the string from out of my eye
and left it for a passerby
And though it was dark
and the wind and crickets howled
we carried on
for hunting men were we
and the grass shook with our boots
and the trees swayed with our breath which was heavy on our lips
like fog in the mire
and like our grandfathers who kissed the moon
we tipped our hats to show respect
but we were not men of the night
and so we carried on
until we reached a murky lake
and oh we jumped to find
within the water no reflection
and i was frightened in my heart and in my mind
and my tongue stood still
and my fingers grabbed at air until they found it
and wrestled it till the sun came up
and we saw again our reflections ripple
and so we left the place in silence
and did not speak for days
but went to the place of trees and grass
and kissed the moon at night