In our English class, we had to choose a poem and interpret it in an artistic way. My partner and I chose to do “Across the Universe” by the Beatles. Instead of having the same lyrics, we changed the lyrics to match how we felt and thought about the song/poem. Along with that we added our own footage to match it. We hope you enjoy!
(Canals near San Marco Square)
I recently went on a three day trip to Venice, Italy with my mother. I had always wanted to go, it was a dream come true. I had imagined it to be all sorts of things, mostly a city on water, which it was. I guess you could say that I had pretty high expectations. I know I shouldn’t have such high expectations but when you’ve dreamt of a place since a young age, you become attached to the idea you have of the place. The dreamland that might not meet the expectations you have made. We got on the train from Heidelberg, Germany, it would take us ten hours to get there. We got to Mestre, Venezia at around 8:16a.m. and we got off. I had a bad feeling that we had gotten off at the wrong station as we were suppose to arrive at 8:27a.m.. I got out of the station and to my dismay it was a city full of cars. I was confused, wasn’t venice suppose to be canals and boats? I looked at my ticket and saw that I really did get off at the wrong stop, we were suppose to be in Santa Lucia, Venezia, not Mestre! We asked the information desk and they said it was no problem, a train to Santa Lucia comes every ten minutes or so! We got on the next train to Santa Lucia and I mentally prepared myself for disappointment, I told myself that it was okay and to try make the best of it.
We finally got there and my heart was pounding, I couldn’t help the excitement. The second we stepped out of the station, my jaw dropped and my eyes widened. It was everything I had expected and more. It was beautiful, absolutely ravishing. We walked around and took pictures for a little bit then decided it would be a good idea to go closer to our hotel and drop the bags until check in time, which was 2p.m. We took the boat into San Marco, the main attraction. We got off the boat and immediately I realized that getting around small and winding alleyways won’t be the easiest thing. We stayed in Citta di Milano which was on Campo. San Zulian. According to the map it was just ahead of us and a little to the right. I was afraid we would never find it but surprisingly we got there in about five minutes. We dropped off our bags and headed to the square, not really expecting much. We got there and there was this huge Cathedral called Basilica di San Marco and next to it was Doge’s Palace (the Doge was the supreme judge of the republic of Venice), across from that was a pretty tall bell tower. The square ended at the ocean, which was amazing. There was also this clock tower, which had zodiac signs, the correct time, and I believe, the date and year. It was quite something. We decided since we would be there for three days we should walk around and see the canals, so we did. They were quite small and I didn’t see how the men would row the gondola through them but they did. I was taking a picture of them when suddenly one middle aged one winked at me and blew me a kiss, it was quite funny. I waved back and he said something extremely fast in Italian and blew me another kiss. What funny people I thought. By now I was quite tired and thankfully it was just about 2p.m. and so we headed back to the hotel. We checked in and went to our room which was quite lovely. We rested and freshened up and headed back to San Marco.
(View of Doge’s palace on left and the sea from Basilica di San Marco)
It was evening now and I could see many men with bunches of roses. One of them handed me a rose and I had thought it was free but I was terribly wrong, the man followed me around and asked me to pay. I was confused so I took out one euro and he just stayed there and help up four fingers. He was asking for FOUR EUROS for ONE rose. I was so upset. I gave him what he wanted and stayed upset for the rest of the night. It was not the best experience to be cheated on. We got cheated on again at the restaurant we went to. We looked at the menu outside and saw Risotto for twelve euros and so we sat down. We got the menu and saw that the risotto in the menu they had just given us was sixteen euros. We were furious. We ate and left very little tip. It was a roller coaster of emotions that day. We were exhausted, excited, and furious.
I had the best sleep that night. In the morning we planned on heading out early but unfortunately it was raining rather hard. We waited until it had cleared up a little, which took a while, and we headed out. We decided to visit the Cathedral and the House of Doge as it was indoors as there was still a chance of rain.
Doge’s Palace was absolutely stunning. The ceilings full of amazing paintings and golden embellishments. It was pretty bright indoors, not like some mansions, dark and dreary. The rooms were of many different shapes and sizes, all with high ceilings and windows. I wonder what it was like back then. They must’ve held masquerade balls as some rooms looked large enough for it. Of course it can’t all be bright and shiny, there were prison rooms too. They weren’t as dark as I had expected and surprisingly weren’t scary and creepy. It was quite interesting. We then went into the weapons room, I have never seen so many different types of weapons in one room! From swords, to bows and arrows, to guns, to cannons; nothing was left out. Some of the swords were taller than my mother (who happens to be quite a little person). I wonder how heavy they were, was it even possible to hold them with one hand? Sadly we were coming to the end and we were quite hungry as we spent four hours looking about. We went into the cafeteria and of course i ordered my favorite meal of the day, dessert! I ordered my chocolate mint coffee and yet another middle aged man brought me my order and sang it out “Mademoiselle your cafe chocolate mint” he had an accent but that was the best part. I laughed and said thank you, really was great to be served by such a friendly and somewhat flirtatious man.
(Basilica di San Marco)
Next was the Basilica di San Marco, there was no fee to go in unless you wanted to see the view from the top. We were about to go in when they stopped me and said “cover your legs” so I had to buy a wrap to cover them up and then went in. Inside it was dark with extremely high ceilings and three domes, one large one in the middle and smaller ones on each side. Each were covered in paintings of gold and around were many candles. In the center of it all was Jesus on a cross, staring down at you, looking at your every move. It was mesmerizing, yet haunting somehow. It felt like I had just entered a place of ghosts where they’re all brushing up against you and touching you ever so gently, making the hairs on the back of your neck stand.
We ended the day there and decided to go eat pizza at the restaurant we had seen earlier. We ordered our pizza and wine and it truly was the best pizza I have ever had. The restaurant was called Rossopomodoro. We finished and paid but it was pouring rain out. The restaurant was close to our hotel so I thought it would be easy, yet again I was so wrong. We headed in all sorts of directions and ended up in the same place over and over again. It was dark enough out that I couldn’t recognize the narrow alleyways we went down over and over again. Finally we went back to San Marco square and I went the same way we had gone the first time, by now it had been at least an hour and we were soaking wet, our shoes drenched in rain water. We finally made it back!
It was sad to wake up to our final day there but it was sunny so we planned on making the best of it. We headed for the bell tower first. The view was absolutely amazing! We looked around and headed down. There isn’t much to explain, the houses all looked scattered and randomly places, all with dark red roofs. You could also see the cathedral that was under construction.
(View from the Bell Tower of Basilica di San Marco and the roofs of houses)
We didn’t really know where to go next to we decided to take the water bus to a different part of town. We got off and walked about, soon we came to another church. Unfortunately it was closed to we walked up more and somehow we ended back at the train station. We must’ve cut right across. We walked about, took some pictures and took the water bus back to San Marco. I remember reading about lafenice, the theatre. It was suppose to be breathtaking. We headed in the general direction of the theatre and eventually got there. We went inside and immediately my breath was taken away from me. It was like a dream. I’m really into performing arts, maybe even become an actress, so to see such a beautiful theatre mesmerized me. I can’t imagine what it must be like to perform, let alone be in the audience. The theatre actually burnt down but was rebuilt in 2003 and i must say, they did a dandy job with it. It was cylindrical in shape, there was the main audience and then there were seats rowing upwards, all private. There were VIP seats right above the door. Everything was fancy and decoded in gold, it was suited for royalty. I sat down and imagined a ballet or a play on the stage, twas a beautiful daydream. Time went by quickly, I hadn’t realized how long I sat and stared. We left and went back to San Marco. All in all it was a good day.
(Inside Teatro de Lafenice)
We ended the day with one last pizza and wine at Rossopomodoro. The waiter there recognized us from the night before and laughed. It was a nice, relaxing evening. It was a perfect end to our trip in Venice. Next stop: Florence!
For my english project I had to self publish a poem. I decide to post mine on tumblr, hand out my poem, and I also write it on the pavement in chalk. I had immediate feedback on the poem I had written on the ground. People stood around as I wrote my poem and told me my poem was good. They though it was interesting, I also had a nice little chat with some people explaining my poem and the project. They were all very kind. People also liked the one I put on tumblr, it was just a little poem about how certain people can make you feel. I think a little over 200 people read my two poems as the one on tumblr had 100 notes, I passed out 30 pieces of paper with my poem, I shared my poem with my old friends back in Berkeley High, I translated my poem to Indonesian so my family in Bali could read it, and I also had people read the one I had written on the pavement.
Down the long, steep path,
passed dark, mossy cocoa groves,
then the river, rock lined,
under the arching Banyan tree,
sound of priest bells,
sweet scent of incense,
An ancient temple.
This is a short poem about a temple at the bottom of the valley near the river. It was in my mother’s hometown in Bali. A village off the beaten path. It was more or less closed off to society but it gave you a good feeling. This was only one of the many temples but i find that it was the most mysterious and charming.
my life moving through words
the rhyme and rhythm of life
poetry, like brushstrokes,
paints an image on a canvas
poetry is music,
and “music is the food of love”
when other words fail poetry speaks for the heart.
deer in the meadow,
the smell of wood smoke in freshly falling rain,
steaming hot chocolate on the kitchen porch.
Spring Break in Berkeley/San Francisco.
View from the Pier.
Found Poetry by: Sarah, Sam Z., Matthew, Kostya, James, Jayanti
Scattered with decaying coco-nuts
The shore was fledged with palm trees
Within the diamond haze of the beach something dark was fumbling along
Blue of all shades, shadowy green and purple
Clear to the bottom, bright with efflorescence Irregular arc of coral, still as a mountain lake
Interrupted by the square motif of the landscape
Coarse grass, dazzling haze, bath of heat
When breezes reached the platform, the palm-fronds would whisper: