May 9, 2012

Winners of the Town Topics Youth Poetry Contest at Communiversity

The winners of the Town Topics Communiversity Youth Poetry Contest range in age from 6 to 14, and attend Little Brook, Princeton Charter, and PDS. Poems were submitted on the theme “What Princeton Means to Me.” Town Topics thanks all those who dropped off poems at Communiversity.


What Princeton Means to Me

Princeton is Beautiful

Princeton is gracious

I love Princeton

where the skies are blue

and the stars are yellow

I love Princeton

my oh my

Where the birds sing high

I love Princeton

my oh my

—Todor Pophristic, Age 6, Little Brook

(Todor told his big sister what to write; no changes were made)


My Feeling of Princeton

The Princeton I know

Makes me happy while watching it grow

In important qualities for a community

That has taken on immense opportunity.

This community has a caring touch

It wants to do good for others so much.

People of Princeton give parts of their lives

To help every community grow and thrive.

Princeton is never boring

You can always go exploring

To theatres and shops

Selling things from bikes to ice cream pops.

Princeton is so pretty

And not so big

Like New York City.

Princeton is a wonderful community as you can see

That is what Princeton means to me.

—Raisa Rubin-Stankiewicz, Age 9, Grade 4, Princeton Charter School


 The Melting Pot We Call Princeton

Canopies of cherry blossoms engulf you as you enter the town.

You’re hit with the rush of bell chiming bikes

The cacophony of blazing sirens

And the soft patter of running shoes.

And then the smells:

Coffee from Starbucks

And the sweet aroma of Witherspoon bread stuffed in paper bags wafting through the air.

The history of the place engulfs you.

University buildings looming over,

As a silent reminder that beyond these walls

Brilliant minds are being nourished and new beginnings are on the brink of discovery.

And then there are the books:

Where the knowledge lies and the imagination rides untamed

Thousands upon thousands lined up in neat little rows

Bindings of bright reds and muted browns jutting out and surrounded by itchy fingertips.

And as you turn the corner and let your mind, body, and spirit

Sink into the melody of life,

You are met with cultures coalescing into one.

You slip into the restaurant or bistro or café

Every time sliding into that same plastic-lined booth

And met with a platter of something exotic,

Leaving your taste buds buzzing and your stomach craving for more.

Teeth sink into shish-kebabs as tall as the sky

Tongues lick off chocolate remains from oozing crepes

Lips smack after the sixth slice of Conte’s pizza.

And then every year, when balloons are notorious for finding themselves stuck in between branches,

And when the sweet mixture of cotton candy and kettle corn dominates the air,

You can see, feel, and hear the excitement of the people around you,

Celebrating and rejoicing for no reason at all,

But just for the happiness of being in the other’s company:

You know you belong.

The cook is stirring up a whole stew of history, books, wonder, and life

And as he adds that final sprinkle of salt or that dash of pepper,

You feel like you are the last ingredient thrown into the mix,

The last piece that makes the customers close their eyes

And concentrate on the savory liquid coating their throats.

You are the lost jigsaw piece to a thousand-pieced puzzle.

Voila! Bon appetite, relish the melting pot in front of you that we are proud to call Princeton.

—Sabrina Li, Age 14, Grade 8, Princeton Day School