In between the lines


Lauren Montano

In the comfort of his A.P. English class senior Philip Shimada resumes work on a piece of poetry for his own enjoyment, May 28. Shimada is known among his classmates for composing beautiful poetic lines that leave many speechless.

Vivian Buenrostro , Co-Editor-in-Cheif

Poet, senior Philip Shimada has been writing poetry about various topics such as religious points of views and light imagery since he was eleven years old.

Shimada kept his poetry a secret for two years until current best friend Emily Vodika, 12, “stole” his writings from his very hands.

“We were in eighth grade and he was writing on a piece of paper one day and I just took the paper from him,” Vodika said. “I guess he didn’t want to show it to me because he didn’t think it was good enough, but it was actually amazing.”

Blown away by his profound literature, Vodika became interested in reading more of his work. Five years after discovering his poetry, Vodika is one of the few people Shimada is comfortable with sharing his poems.

“He is very humble about his work,” Vodika added. “They are not the typical ‘roses are red, violets are blue’ poems, they are more encouraging forms of writing.”

Shimada has always wanted to be a writer, and poetry has been his favorite form of writing since his sophomore year in his Honors English class with Ms. Kasner.

“My poetry reflects what mood I’m in,” Shimada said, “and I mostly write in a free verse form because I feel that it is easier to express what I want to say.”

Free verse is an open form of poetry that does not use patterns or rhymes consistently.

“He is unlike any poet I have read,” current AP English teacher, Mrs. Bean said. “A poet may spend a lifetime discovering and developing his own voice, and Philip is already off to a promising start.”

During February 2013, Shimada had to leave school for many weeks due to an emergency eye surgery which temporarily left him completely blind. The AP English students sent him an assortment of well wishes; in return, Philip (in his darkness, literally) wrote a poem to thank them.

“My Name” is another poem Shimada wrote about hoping for recognition. The recognition he talks about is not the type that would be earned by a façade, but rather an honest, genuine personality.


“My Name”

Say my name, I’ll come

But when you’ve said it

Hold my name inside your mouth

I want to know it’s there

Sitting, waiting on your tongue

For the time when I’m lost

Or, even, just hungry to taste the sound

Of my name in your voice

Please keep it

There was a time when people

Hoped their sons and daughters would become

Their name or earn it

My name doesn’t match its meaning

It is mine, I think, me

Please don’t whistle for me

I’d still come, but by my name

I’d be yours