Date of Award
Through middle school and most of high school, I only wanted to read and write fiction. I viewed poetry as sentimental, affected, and boring. But during my junior year of high school, I received a tiny Dover book called 100 Best-Loved Poems. While flipping through it one day, I found a chunk of text by someone named John Donne titled "Holy Sonnet X." Intrigued by the Roman numeral X, I started reading-"Death, be not proud"-and was astonished. The concise, rhythmic language appealed to me. Because of its condensed diction, the clever paradox in the last two lines made an especially strong impact: "One short sleep past, we wake eternally, I And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die."
McGahey, Rachel, "Nesting in Text: A Poetry Collection" (2009). Honors Projects and Presentations: Undergraduate. 313.