Friday, October 17, 2014

Thhooorreeaaauuuu! Thoreau's Last Walk, by Aidan Bond

Thoreau, a man of solitude, is not one who can easily translate from isolation into an environment filled with sociable, conversation-seeking teenagers. Although his first case of contact was perceived as friendly, slowly but surely, things took a turn for the worse. Philosophical conversations were great, temporarily that is, until the best questions ran out. When conversations became too complex, students slowly became distracted. They lost pace, falling behind as well as running ahead, leaving few for Thoreau to lecture on transcendentalism. Listening to Bobby Shmurda proved to be a much more popular pastime, as a result of the poor attempts to ban any and all technology from the hike. In teenager terms, anything that violates the rules is instantaneously cool, whereas a historical figure, in many ways, is seen as lame.
At any rate, as a result of various distractions in play, Thoreau’s group thinned down. It became a more defined and relentless group of followers. They were not simply interested in his ideology, but the sheer reality of Thoreau’s existence is what excited these super fans. In attempting to evade this painful experience, Thoreau came into contact with others from outside his miniature mob. He only managed to express a few words at a time, that is, before he would be cut off by overwhelming laughter, despite the lack of a genuinely comical statement. All of this resulted in an obvious realization: Thoreau needed to escape, and he was going to have to do it quickly. At certain moments along his path there were check-ins, at which large crowds amassed. At the largest gathering he pretended there was too much noise for him to hear, and he unheedingly walked ahead of his companions. He quickly slipped through the crowd, all the way to the front, and hurried along the trail until he was safely out of sight. Only a few minutes passed until his anxious friends caught up to him, out of breath, concerned over his disappearance. This surprise escalated the situation greatly, and so Thoreau stayed almost silent, giving short, relatively painless answers, until he arrived at another opportunity. An agitated swarm of wasps were swirling in the middle of his path. There were hundreds flying about, and many more crawling all over and around their disturbed hive. Thoreau, without hesitation, leaped straight through this extremely dangerous path, kicking dirt at the hive, and screaming like a lunatic in the hopes of further discouraging any attempt to follow him. Surely it would take a complete idiot to take such a risk, seeing as there was an alternative route, shortened in length, created specifically to avoid the wasps.
Despite the odds, as he was inspecting himself for stings, he was interrupted by a high-pitched scream, “Thhooorrreeaaauuuu!” followed by an abundance of heavy, fasted paced footsteps. His closest friends had risked the chance of injury for yet another opportunity to drive Thoreau further into desperation. And so the remainder of his arduous journey was filled with stories of bravery and valor. Or as he saw it, stories of the idiots who ran through a swarm of wasps, in order to follow someone who wanted to be alone.

Eventually he surrendered to his fate. He had decided to be happy, at least, for those he spared from suffering the same fate, had he not been there. Those who will never know of, let alone appreciate the great deed he carried out that day. At the end of the day, however, he would’ve much preferred avoiding this experience altogether, and being Thoreau, it’s not something he’s likely to risk experiencing twice. He most likely will never take a walk through the woods again.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Stone Pony Asbury Park, NJ photo by Ashley Judson

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To check out the latest edition of The Gunnery's literary journal, STRAY SHOT 2014, click here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tessa Mackey photo and caption

Although it was the first race, the girls in this boat practice hard everyday and have many blisters to prove it!
Nice work by sophomore Henry Pratt, from the student newspaper at The Gunnery. For Henry's article from the first issue of the school year, click here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

nyc poetry festival

...a quick head's up that five frankmatter contributors, some of whom have been featured on this site, will be reading at the NYC Poetry Festival this Saturday at 1:40 (at The White Horse stage). For the poetry festival's website, click here. We're looking forward to hearing Leslie Howes, Emily Sklar, Mebane Robertson, Gabriele Tinti, and Moneta Goldsmith!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The ginger lily

My ‘living’ memory of Uncle Kanjilal are Champa plants (Dolon Champa in Bangla) that produce the most beautiful and intensely perfumed white flowers. This kind of Champa is found in humid tropical zones, such as certain areas of India, and all of southeast Asia. I have even found it in Texas, where it grows in abundance, and characteristically in a kind of wondrous ‘forest,’ all the more beautiful when it is in flower. In English it is also called the ginger lily. I have always loved this flower, which is extremely rare in the dry climate of the Indian region of Uttar Pradesh, but my uncle had it in his garden. When I asked him for a cutting, he laughed at me a bit skeptically, saying that I would never be able to make it flower. I responded that I was sure I could. And so went our good-natured repartee for some time. My uncle has passed on, but his Champa is still here. It has also produced others, and in season, there are abundant flowers. For me, it is as though my uncle were present, and content, still pretending not to give me any credit. He was slender, wiry, and agile, with an alert gaze, a narrow mustache, and glasses. I still feel his great affection. 

People pass away. Whoever can leaves something: a house, land, and who knows what else. But plants that have been left behind have extra significance for me. They bear living witness to who once lived. Indeed, it is as though they live on.

in homage to Devi Priya
with affection and gratitude
an excerpt from her memoir
Più di una vita | More than one life
from the translation in progress by Nicholas Benson

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thank you for maxi-reading!
at The Gunnery on April 26th
Lexi Nanavaty
Matt LoPresti
Casey Siemon
Sam Joslin
Ivy Le
Ataman Uğur
Jake Kantor
Shannon O’Connor
Laura-Delight van Tartwijk
Jessica Xu
Sam Hemmingstad
Henry Palmer
Zafar Mirzaliev
Isaac Reguant Escarra y James Benedetto
Nick Weinstein
Alexis Dominicus

and particularly recognized for their outstanding recitations: 

Alexis Dominicus 
Henry Palmer, Sam Hemmingstad, Jake Kantor, Ivy Le, Sam Joslin, Casey Siemon, Matt LoPresti, and Lexi Nanavaty


[illustration by Shannon O'Connor]

Monday, April 14, 2014

Poem by Nick Weinstein


Growing up you used your hands
Taking roll call every time
You needed to count between one and ten

But that never mattered

When you were young you still needed a song
Never were quite sure what came next, was it J or K?
Twenty-six letters put to a rhyme just so you could spell

But that never mattered

Whatever happened to those days?
Did they slip away in backdraft of time’s momentum?
Fall away from our calendars like a dying leaf?

Or are they simply hiding?
Just waiting to be rediscovered, our youthful invigoration?
Lying around our subconscious, a buried treasure trove of wonder?

Our twenty-four hour workday fills itself
Labor after labor after labor
Even Hercules would be put to shame,
He only had thirteen.

What changed us?
Derailed our hopes and dreams?
We used to have literary merit,
So much more than just a story
Now we trudge on desperately,
 Searching for a missing theme
That we will never find.

Imagination flew with freedom
We thought in sound and fury
The Shakespeare of our own minds
An everlasting waterfall of adventures to be had

Take back those “childish” days
Pay back the late fees and renew your sense of wonderment
Embrace what some may call a crisis
Because what everyone else thought?
Well, that never mattered.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Poem by Emma Ward

Go away

Go away
I want to lay
In my bed
I think it's  best
I skip that test
I've got a nasty
As for that sport
You make me play
I’m no good anyway
I think it's best
You let me rest
Upon my bed today

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gerry Kahari's Spring Break Diary

Dear Diary, 
        Day one of spring break I woke up and went to class. Then I took a nap in that class and I woke up when the class ended, it was great. After that I saw Kevin in the dorm hallway. He told me to have a good spring break. Then I responded with, "you too." My dad picked me up shortly after that riveting conversation with Kevin. A few days afterwards I arrived at my abode. I sailed on my rubber ducky to Panama City. Oh what a paradise that place is. While in Panama City I met some very beautiful dolphins. It was fairly warm for most of my stay. To return home I sailed back using my floaties. Due to the absurd winds it was difficult to return and I ran into a young boy on a boat with a lion. At first I thought it was quite odd that this boy was by himself on a boat with a lion but then I figured that I was lost. Because the circus is the other way. While I was home I worked out, watched tv and played a little lacrosse. My parents made me work, because they thought I had too much free time and that I wasn't doing anything productive, while they were at work....they were right.