A guest poet had Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School students dynamically engaged in the celebration of poetry month. David Marcillo, author of “Terror to All Who Belong To This World” returned to interact with the current honors students of his former English teacher, Brother John Corcoran.
In light of current events, studying “Hiroshima” by John Hersey, “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut as well as Marcillo’s poems have helped students come to terms with the same questions asked today as were once asked in the past.
The project began last December with students studying, discussion and writing about each of the works. The project ended recently with students producing similar-themed but original poems, artwork, or short-video based on Hiroshima, Dresden, Bhopal, Chernobyl, 9/11, or any similar human-caused event. English Teacher, Br. John Corcoran requested that the students address in their work the topic, “Is Humanity Destined for Self-destruction, or Is There Hope?”
In one poem titled “Human Nature” by Jackysha Jean, she acknowledges that self-destruction is part of man’s nature. She writes, “War. The core belief behind humanity’s self-destruction; a seed planted on the earth centuries ago; now a tree with branches stretched out; in every corner of the world; Killing your enemy; Participating in war with the choice you either kill or you die;”
David Marcillo graduated from ACND in 2003. He holds a BA from the University of Miami and a MFA from Antioch University in California. “Terror to All Who Belong to This World” is his second volume of published poetry. Marcillo currently teachers middle school English in Hollywood, Florida. In speaking about the influence Br. Corcoran had upon him, he states, “Br. Corcoran was certainly my most influential teacher, as he was able to instill his love for literature into me and many of my classmates. To this day, my bookshelf is still full of books I read while in Brother’s class, and I have only fond memories of discussing the books and writing about them. I have also found myself teaching my students some of the lessons I recall learning.”
He sent his newly published book to Br. Corcoran last summer. Impressed by his former student’s work he said, “The poems are quite intriguing – many traditional and non-traditional poetic techniques; many historical, mythological, and literary allusions.”
The lessons learned from books studied when Marcillo was a high school student now paired with his own work have helped a new generation of students come to terms with difficult world issues. The same way that he was inspired by his former teacher, he now has done the same and helped them to express their thoughts through the art of poetry.
Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School
4949 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33137