Many of the performance judges praised Nora for the variety of her poem selections (she had to recite 3), "Sestina: Like With a nod to Jonah Winter", "It was not Death, for I stood up" and "On the Existence of the Soul".
BY A. E. STALLINGS
With a nod to Jonah Winter
Now we’re all “friends,” there is no love but Like,
A semi-demi goddess, something like
A reality-TV star look-alike,
Named Simile or Me Two. So we like
In order to be liked. It isn't like
There’s Love or Hate now. Even plain “dislike”
Is frowned on: there’s no button for it. Like
Is something you can quantify: each “like”
You gather’s almost something money-like,
Token of virtual support. “Please like
This page to stamp out hunger.” And you’d like
To end hunger and climate change alike,
But it’s unlikely Like does diddly. Like
Just twiddles its unimposing thumbs-ups, like-
Wise props up scarecrow silences. “I’m like,
So OVER him,” I overhear. “But, like,
He doesn't get it. Like, you know? He’s like
It’s all OK. Like I don’t even LIKE
Him anymore. Whatever. I’m all like ... ”
Take “like” out of our chat, we’d all alike
Flounder, agape, gesticulating like
A foreign film sans subtitles, fall like
Dumb phones to mooted desuetude. Unlike
With other crutches, um, when we use “like,”
We’re not just buying time on credit: Like
Displaces other words; crowds, cuckoo-like,
Endangered hatchlings from the nest. (Click “like”
If you’re against extinction!) Like is like
Invasive zebra mussels, or it’s like
Those nutria-things, or kudzu, or belike
Redundant fast food franchises, each like
(More like) the next. Those poets who dislike
Inversions, archaisms, who just like
Plain English as she’s spoke — why isn’t “like”
Their (literally) every other word? I’d like
Us just to admit that’s what real speech is like.
But as you like, my friend. Yes, we’re alike,
How we pronounce, say, lichen, and dislike
Cancer and war. So like this page. Click Like.
BY EMILY DICKINSON
It was not death, for I stood up,
And all the dead lie down;
It was not night, for all the bells
Put out their tongues, for noon.It was not frost, for on my flesh
I felt siroccos crawl,
Nor fire, for just my marble feet
Could keep a chancel cool.
And yet it tasted like them all;
The figures I have seen
Set orderly, for burial,
Reminded me of mine,
As if my life were shaven
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key;
And I was like midnight, some,
When everything that ticked has stopped,
And space stares, all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns,
Repeal the beating ground.
But most like chaos,--stopless, cool,
Without a chance or spar,--
Or even a report of land
To justify despair.
by PATTIANN ROGERS
How confident I am it is there. Don’t I bring it,
As if it were enclosed in a fine leather case,
To particular places solely for its own sake?
Haven’t I set it down before the variegated canyon
And the undeviating bald salt dome?
Don’t I feed it on ivory calcium and ruffled
Shell bellies, shore boulders, on the sight
Of the petrel motionless over the sea, its splayed
Feet hanging? Don’t I make sure it apprehends
The invisibly fine spray more than once?
I have seen that it takes in every detail
I can manage concerning the garden wall and its borders.
I have listed for it the comings and goings
Of one hundred species of insects explicitly described.
I have named the chartreuse stripe
And the fimbriated antenna, the bulbed thorax
And the multiple eye. I have sketched
The brilliant wings of the trumpet vine and invented
New vocabularies describing the interchanges between rocks
And their crevices, between the holly lip
And its concept of itself.
And if not for its sake, why would I go
Out into the night alone and stare deliberately
Straight up into 15 billion years ago and more?
I have cherished it. I have named it.
By my own solicitations
I have proof of its presence.