Chloe Melchiskey ’17, Poet Laureate

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Every year a senior is selected by the English department to be Waynflete’s Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate reads poetry for the upper school assemblies and at graduation. Chloe Melchiskey was named this year’s Poet Laureate for the Class of 2017. At a recent assembly she read an original poem, We Know, which is linked here.

After the assembly I had the chance to talk with Chloe about her poetry. I found myself very interested in knowing what had introduced her to poetry. She noted that “poems are all around us in books and signs and people we see on the street. One day I decided to write it down.” Then I asked her what had inspired her to write We Know, the first poem she read at assembly. When hearing this poem, I was really always curious not only why she wrote it and but also what means it meant to her. She responded, “I like to think of writing as your mind trying to teach your brain something. So my question would be, what do you think inspired me to write this poem?”

I tried another approach and asked her about the connection between her poem and the world today. I had better luck this time. She said:

“Every human on this planet is made up of the same atoms and molecules; we share the common experience of being alive at the same time and seeing the same sun set each day from all over the world. I wouldn’t know how to write without writing about the world and the people and things that occupy in it. What’s beautiful about poems is that each person who reads it gets to have their own idea about what it means, but all of those ideas come from the same place and share a common source. Every human being on this planet is happening at the same time. This planet is big enough for all of us; it’s time we realize that.”