The Undead Poets' Society

Year 9 students from Brisbane Water Secondary College get creative with a poetry podcast.

21 December 2020
Image: Year 9 students from The Undead Poets' Society at Brisbane Water Secondary College Umina Campus.

Year 9 students from Brisbane Water Secondary College have explored what it means to be human studying exemplar texts in their writing elective subject, Write On.

The students produced a variety of written works which have been recorded over three parts for the Student Voices Podcast.

The Undead Poets' Society - Part 1

Angelina

We are in Year 9, so full of light. Ms Kitson, our teacher, gives us freedom to write.

Ella

From Brisbane Water, Angelina, and me. My name is Ella from the Undead Poets' Society. 

Student

Brisbane Water Writing Elective. Come listen to our stories written from our perspective. We've studied art, learned of great writers, found a light that inspires. First up is Mollie. A piece of power she's written of Miss Lewis in peak traffic hour.

Mollie

Young Stelly Lewis ties her hair back in a messy top-knot. Bursting through the door with head up shoulders back, she just strolls down the street, stopping to chat with friends and strangers alike. The cat food stench of Mr. Willis' shopping bags, yet she still guides her to the door. She picks up a leather briefcase from the ground and hand it to the shy lady. And the squeak of stroller Stelly helps make way for. A stop and go sign bobbing over on her shoulder. She makes way to the pedestrian crossing. Breathe in and out. Smile and stride out into the traffic. Stop sign held out confidently, people cross, intent on their destinations. Everyone safely cross, the cars make her hair flick around. And she shields the remaining people. Trying to make small talk and smiles with little response, she strides onto the asphalt. People push past her, barely seeing her, even in her neon vest. As if a world were bouncing off a brick wall again and again, breathe in and out. Stelly smiles and strides onto the front line.

Angelina

I'm here with Becky, a dearest friend, she's written of Icarus and his deadly end.

Becky

The Fall of Icarus. In spring wind under blazing sun, fishermen working manual labour within waters of fish, a feast. Farmers sweat in fields. [...] grim lines, seeing a glimpse of a fragment high in the sky, thinking of a bird in flight, but Icarus is flying closer to the sun. Wax wings melting, diving through air, diving through sea, diving through memories. A splash off the coast. Unnoticed by fishermen, unnoticed by farmers. Only noticed by his father when he didn't come home for his birthday meal.

Angelina

Lara has written a short piece for you. "Colors of Life, of Indigo blue."

Lara

The night sky standing still. A crow's call carries through the wind. Sounds of the rushing stream of a waterfall ricocheting against the placid pebbles. Rich in the distinct scent of sea salt, taste a bit of berries gathered from bushes, consumed by a cold breeze. Indigo blue.

Angelina

Following the pack. Ella gives to us a piece of mankind and our blind trust.

Ella

Who are we? Why do we do this? Where is our soul? Winter. Sleeting rain so cold it burns the skin. The grey sheep in suits with black umbrellas, slaves to the machine. At least the sheep have umbrellas. They wander along the tar zebra crossings all heading to the same place, stopping at the blood red lights and going when the green ones appear. Many sounds surround them, urging them to move faster as they hurry to meet the same deadline. Watching, separated by an invisible fence, so lifeless, transparent skyscrapers, another herd. Wild curls surround their face like the mane of a lion their coats ragged and ungroomed. They sleep on the cold wet silver benches, trapped in the cycle of poverty. Always alert, always moving nomadically from place to place. But while they may look like lions, they are as helpless and vulnerable as a newborn fawn and fawns are vulnerable to wolves. We hide behind masks, disguising ourselves as sheep, but we are the wolves slaving away to the big sleek black bear, hoping we don't become the next meal.

Ella

And so this episode has come to an end joining us next time, there will be more friends. Angelina, and I have had a blast. We're The Undead Poets' Society and we're ready to recast.

End of transcript.

The Undead Poets' Society - Part 2

Angelina

We are in Year 9, so full of light. Ms Kitson our teacher, gives us freedom to write.

Ella

From Brisbane Water, Angelina and me. My name is Ella from the Undead Poets' Society.

Student

Brisbane Water writing elective. Come listen to our stories written from our perspective, we've studied art learned of great writers, found a light that inspires.

Ella

First up is Ryn with their piece on a dragon. Let's have a listen and jump on the bandwagon.

Ryn

The mouth lies while the heart speaks true, the eyes see only what they want to. They see the smile spread on her face. So pretty and delicate the perfect wife. But they know the smile hides her pain, from the cruel husband who was to gain. The beast comes to terrorise, to save the jewel from beady eyes. They say the beast stole her from fate, but she was saved from her gilded cage. He can change from birds of prey, to the beast that flies during the day, she pours her heart out to her friend. The bird that listened to the end. Unbeknown he is the beast that terrorises all to speak. The friend that never left, the friend that always listened. The friend who saved her from this prison.

Ella

Angelina speaks of love, a social construct. Let's see how she defines this emotional product.

Angelina

Love's a social construct, an empty train to conduct, a missile set to self-destruct. A faint light by trees obstruct. A forest of unknowing lies all of the showing in the trees. Blowing a struggle is ongoing. It will be the end, all made up. Pretend no way to defend no longer a friend, causing you strife haunting your life. We're husband and wife now blunt knife. Useless, neglected, dirty, infected, all memories collected no longer respected. Life isn't simplified. This relation long has died. Told and forced to take a side, no rules left to abide, slashed, and yell to go away waiting like a sitting prey. Filled of an emotional buffet soon to become a vicious fray. This surely can't be right. It wasn't supposed to cause a fight, grasping forth in rays of light in the darkness of the night. Impossible to find they say love is blind, but I was defined by a tightly closed mind. They said this was our time ahead. Chose not to listen to what they said. I was fatefully filled with dread on the floor, my soul had bled. Only destruction in its wake. Love isn't blind, but love is fake. Nothing to give, just wanting to take until it drives you to finally break. They have nothing left to say no one there for my dismay, just needing someone to come stay. I'm left lodged in this cliche. Love is a social construct an empty train to conduct, a missile set to self-destruct. A faint light by trees obstruct.

Ella

Ebonnie encourages you to really try sitting with her and watching the birds fly by.

Ebonnie

Breath, raspy and strained, fingers red with cold. Sodden feet in muddy puddles all until the birds fly by, stumbling on the grimy stones, deep grey stain sky, howling snickering wind, all until the birds fly by. Feathered fireworks, expertly perform flashing coloured explosions, humourous, vibrant bursts of relief. All because the birds flew by.

Ella

The next piece by Daisy is about the aspects of time. Listen to her as she lets her voice shine.

Daisy

Let go of the past. Let go of your emotions that are holding you back. Let go of the bad memories and be in the present. Live your life as full as you like. And don't hold back. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. Therefore, it is called the present.

Ella

Isobel speaks of an untimely demise about a boy who fell from the sky.

Isobel

Down, down, down, falling through clouds, falling past birds, falling fast. But slow enough, slow enough to say no one noticing the wings were all he was, but where were they now? Wax scorching his burnt skin. People in awe, people in shock crowds gathering to see him fly. And as the sun called him up, up he flew opening his eyes again, looking to where he will lie, hidden by trees, the cove. The sun is too afraid to hit. The water hits like bullets, shocking and stinging its dark arms, pulling him down. To close his eyes for good, catching a glimpse of the boy at the rocks.

Ella

And so this episode has come to an end. Joining us next time, there will be more friends, Angelina and I have had a blast we're The Undead Poets' Society, and we're ready to recast.

End of transcript.

The Undead Poets' Society - Part 3

Angelina

We are in Year 9, so full of light. Ms Kitson, our teacher, gives us freedom to write.

Ella

From Brisbane Water, Angelina, and me, my name is Ella from the Undead Poet Society.

Student

Brisbane Water writing elective. Come listen to our stories written from our perspective. We've studied art, learned of great writers, found a light that inspires.

Ella

Sahara speaks of Icarus, the first boy to fly. She tells his story as he falls from the sky.

Sahara

As he fell through the clear blue sky he watched as life flashed before his eyes. The angels waving goodbye as the adrenaline he felt in his insides became higher. The feeling of him flying gracefully up above and surely enough, he realised he was below the golden sphere and it became clear he was falling below the Earth's room. As life became dim, he had hit cold water and everything felt better.

Student

Brittany tells the story of the sun watching Icarus fall with nowhere left to run.

Brittany

They've done it again. Humans sending an inexperienced one of their own to the sky, uncharted territory for their kind. I wonder when they'll learn. I think this as I watch a small boy fall. Falling from the sky, he flew too close, too close to me. Alas, this isn't his fault. How is one that is so young to know when to stop before it's too late. Too late to undo what can't ever be undone. The poor boy continues to fall. I almost feel guilty, but then again, how was I to know? So how can I be to blame? The naive boy finally ends his fall. Wrapped in the cold cruel hands of the water, he drowns and the wax of his wings disappear with him unnoticed and I remain alone in the sky forever watching many others like the boy.

Student

Ella brings to us seven wonders in one. From up on Poppy Hill nature calls to us to run.

Ella

Seven wonders in one bay full of sweet spring flowers willing her to stay. Sapphire sky painted with clouds of both white and grey, turquoise waves kiss the sandstone shores and the peaceful breeze asks her to stay for another day. The rose falls quiet and her face lights with hope. For now, she leaves behind us all with a dream of finding her way, leaving us to wait until we see her again from standing up on Poppy Hill.

Student

Annalilly talks about the human experience, about mankind is no island, and everyone's differences.

Annalilly

I walked past a shop window. I stopped, I stared, I sit and prepared. Thought about how many floors, how many stairs do I fall before someone cares? How many [...] must I share? How many truths must I dare? Must I look and compare? This is me. I'm right there. But who am I? Who is me? In this mirror what do I see? An author or a daughter or a friend to be? Someone afraid of their own feet? Someone who can't compete or condition sympathy? A girl lost in her own eyes labelled with a million lies. How much to a thousand times with the way she manages her life? She says, she's fine, but not inside. Did you think she'd lost her mind? Perhaps you were lost to find this wasn't her. It was humankind. It was the process, the science, the assessments and deadlines, the world, the wise humankind. This goes out to the risk-takers, the rebels and the complicaters, the hesitaters, and time-wasters, the drop kicks, and cheap skaters. The arch enemies, sworn to frenemies, all the remedies, the negative energies, the petty lies of figgy guys, the waste of times to all our lives. When was that changed our minds to all of humankind? There is no island only lies.

Student

To finish us off we have Tanu, to describe the standpoint of a princess, a dragon, and a knight to you.

Tanu

Captured, confined in prison. Days, months, years passes, I'm surrounded by these four dull grey walls. I'm supposed to be sitting pretty while I wait for Prince Charming, or a knight in shining armour. For a man. I do not want to wait. I want to run, I want to fly, I want to be free. And all I can do is wait, because in this story, I am destined to be the princess.

Handsome, charming knight in shining armour, Prince Charming, man with the perfect ideals or the moral compass. That is the man who saves the princess. But I am not that man. I do not have a moral compass nor do I have the perfect ideals. I am not there to save the princess. I am there to slay the beast. I am there for glory, money, power. I am a scoundrel, yet these ideals are pushed on me because in the story I'm destined to be the Prince, a scoundrel, a villain, a sinner, the devil from head to toe. That is what I look like with green scales, spikes on my spine and the snap with a fiery breath. I do not capture the princess. It was her parents who decided to confine her so they can get the heir they were hoping for. I am simply guarding her, but I didn't know that I could be chained, so that I could not escape this fated death. I cannot escape this death because I was destined to be the beast.

Students

And so this journey has come to an end. We've had a blast collaborating with friends. I'd like to take a moment to thank the cast. The Undead Poet Society sleeps at last.

End of transcript.

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