Agnes Reads for 2014-2015:

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

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Page 84-85 The Starboard Sea, Aiden gives Jason a haircut and makes him look neater. She said “Hair is Destiny, the right look can change your life”

Throughout our lives, we grow it
If we can’t grow it, we buy it
Sometimes we have reasons to cut it
We can’t be who we are without it
Whether it’s long or short
Curly or Straight
Or not there at all
It portrays our identity
Who we are
Or who we want to be
The right look can change your life
Hair is destiny

~ Roseanne O. Weaver ’17

You learn more about yourself when you’re afraid” (Dermont 70).

Toes gripping a wooden floor,
ankles carried high,
trembling in my kitchen
in the middle of the night.

Phantom roaches scuttle by
and set my heart to pounding—
my stomach growls and grabs my wrist
and leads me to the pantry.

Spiders perch like gargoyles
in the corner of the room,
arms wide and inviting,
casting shadows in the gloom.

I stiffen like a doe who hears
the cocking of a gun—
I reach for a granola bar,
my features white and drawn.

They say you learn about yourself
the most when you’re afraid
but I steadfastly disagree—
fear eats our hearts away.

Like insects bite into our skin
and seas devour the shore
fear strips away the best of us,
and takes a little more

each time she visits us—
her ugly spider-arms
clutching at my feet in bed—
a grasp as soft as thorns.

The dying sailor did not learn
his own identity
when his fear grasped him by the lungs
and drowned him in the sea—

the sailor truly knew himself
the very night before
when his wife waved to see him off,
her smile wide as the shore.

~ Charlee Amason ’17

The calm wind gently runs her hands behind me,
as the golden curls of the late afternoon sun flair endless over the youthful, cloudless blue sky.
Slowly, her lips begin to touch my bare, tan, curved-thick skin bathing me in her warm, clear breath as a silently run along side the emerald blue salt waters.

My feet soak themselves in the small, wet rough beige grains, leaving behind darken shadow-like footprints.

Those emerald blue waves constantly breathing in and out, beckoning me, as if to say, “It’s simple really.”

My heart begins to beat like my fists that once hit the smooth surface of his face as I make my way into the cold waters –Calypso’s deadly gaze.

My arms and legs kick with the wrath of the tiger burning bright within, but they are powerless against Poseidon’s voice as he yells, cursing me with waves, throwing me off his body, leaving me motionless and blind, slowly fading into the depths of darkness.

While the salty droplets hold me, tying a thick, dark green noose around me. What I remembered for what seemed like eternity, I would soon forget. My own fearful secret still ended with me.

My ears awake to the sound of lustrous black and white ivory keys, as copper-brown fingernails begin to glide themselves slowly to the tune of “Have to Drive” by Amanda Palmer.

The invisible smoke-like wisps of tangerines and green apples tap the tips of my nostrils.
Round, wet, stinging droplets form as I try to open my eyes so I submit, forced to indulge in darkness once more.
While the voice and the ivory black and white keys intertwine like a painter mixing colors of a melancholy melody singing:

We had to die
It’s only natural Jason
We died that night
We suffered lonesomeness most of all
You feel so powerless and small
When love turned into fear,
and the flames of rage burned and buried us in the rain of blame
Sail on, in pain, the starlight silver cup is yours to gain.
Watch for the waves not the winds.
Use the night stars, your Bellatrix , her  beam of light though fragile  at times, hold her like candle light.
See her as the true wind, she who gave you the rusted black copper key to unlock and understand,
 the empty space between you and your sea tyrant friends,
 the golden shard of glass stuck in her eye, while a green shard stayed in her heart.
Oh, Sweet Boy of ours!
What you did to Cal was wrong.
You tore the palms of your bare hands tying rough ridge surfaces of tan thick rope into knots.
We died to save you, don’t drown yourself away!
You grieve for us because you were meant to stay.
Learn to forgive, only then can you trust yourself again.

Slowly the voices and notes fade into silence as I feel the sharp, ridged-edge surface of the apricot pit and the mix of my salty dark red liquid.
While the warm tinder beats within me, untying my knots opening my once cold and darkened chamber.

And in a whisper the voice I longed to hear again after all those years sang softly, you are our sun, and we are your binary stars,you sail the world, and we sail the sky—never alone or apart.

I awake to the sound of the calming breaths of the waves.
The cool lips of the wind stroking her fingers gently through my thick blades of hair as I find myself embraced in the arms of the thick and endless mounds of rough beige grains.

My eyes applaud as darkness shows off her black gown with glittering white specs, blowing a seabird as a kiss gently soaring down beside me.

Her clear, marble glass black eyes glowing by the light of the stars,
reflecting the image of both pain and beauty,
a writer, a changed man—walking forward on his starboard sea.

~Amy Wang ’17

Beloved creative writing professor Amber Dermont returns to Agnes Scott College on Thursday, October 3rd!

  • Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm
  • Location: Amelia Davis Luchsinger Lounge, Alston Campus Center

All students, faculty, staff, and alumnae are invited.

First year students don’t miss this is an opportunity to meet the author of the 2013 Agnes Reads selection, The Starboard Sea.  Ask questions about your favorite characters, share your thoughts about the book, and learn about how Amber Dermont became a New York Times best selling author.

If there is time, Amber may read from her latest work.  Be sure to bring your book for Amber to sign after the event!

Frigid grains
of the Bellingham beach
latch onto my feet.

I glance back on my past life,
one of falsity and fabrications,
one of my deceased companions,
and finally see current friends
for their true nature.

I gaze,
the nightfall is promising.
The ink-like ocean
with its onward sway.

These depths,
are more reassuring than shallow waters.
The whisper of the breeze attempts
to lure me to dive into its hold.

No longer bound to the good opinions
of those that don’t matter,
I plunge into the boat,
and desire to navigate forward.

The flickering celestial bodies
guide me along the incessant ocean.
Just as the sea has captured my flames,
I too, will be engulfed.

~ Brooke Mastmeier ’17

The briny air,
The tempting waves,
The tempest ravished grounds,

I stall before,
The pulling sands,
The sea’s seductive sounds,

My blood it pounds,
My heart it skips,
I’m nearing close my end,

I hear the beach,
Calling to me,
An old familiar friend,

The water licks,
My sinking feet,
Yet I postpone the plunge,

I can’t deny,
My thoughts for long,
Into the foam I lunge,

Glacial current,
Swarms my carcass,
Taking my last breath,

Darkness briskly,
Swallows me whole,
Through frigid jaws of death.

~ Kelsey Morgan’17