Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the Japanese American internment experience through poetry

as seen through the eyes of Slavic youth today


My life went through the ground,
And got raised up to the skies,
But I found a way out
In the middle of it all.

- by Sergei, K, age 15


All cold
in a barn
with family
Lost everything
Empty inside

- by Lily K., age 15


different from everyone
away from home
like animals in a barn
hot summers, cold winters
like one big family

- by Lili G., age 16


Empty rooms
Strangers carry out my treasures
Trapped inside these hollow walls
I sit in boredom

- by Liliya K., age 15


Cracked roads
soft whispers
tears on my cheeks

- by Taya K., age 16


Thorns stretch out on wires
Hollow buildings await history
Law breaks our memories
and leaves us all in mystery

- by Victoriya T., age 16


No hitting around,
No sores from the punch,
My life lost everything,
And gained the knowledge of how to
start from scratch
From nothing again, I started it then

- by Alex B., age 15

[Editor's note: This work comes from a high school Language Arts "Oregon History Through Literature" unit. After learning about the experience of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans in Oregon, starting in the late 1800s and spanning all the way through World War II, youth wrote poetry about the internment experience]

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