Sophomore poetics class battles it out

By S. Z. Nishan, Dylan Lee, and Sohei J. Wu

The tenth graders have started the year with a Poetics block taught by Mme Davis. To kickstart the students’ creative flow, they had rap battles against a partner. Here is an example from Iman, WSP alumna, and Tony, Mme Davis’ husband.

Chopsticks vs. Fork

The oldest chopsticks ever found are from 1200 BC

the same land that brought you panda bears and green tea

We’re simple, we’re sleek, we always work in a pair

to get a meal into a mouth with precision and care

Side by side we make sense, like a quotation mark

you come in sixty different sizes of awkward mini pitchfork

We exercise thirty joints, fifty muscles, in a hand, elbow, wrist

just eating noodles can prevent arthritis

We take focus, help to slow down and savor

teaching fine motor skills and making sushi taste better

Even the Little Mermaid wouldn’t use you as dinnerware

pulled a fork out a shipwreck just to brush her red hair

We’re fun, efficient, no sharp metal edges

sets of old cutlery are just pointless stresses

So hey diddle diddle, you can run off with that spoon

We’ll stick around and stick it out under the light of this moon


Silver is the color that I wear

Four prongs on the tip so beware

You got two sticks I don’t care

‘Cause if you lose one you don’t have a spare

I’ve been pokin’ and stabbin’ you mostly just grabbin’

You twistin’ up noodles I’m cuttin’ toast in a cabin

Whatchu gon’ do with soup or a hairy potato

Only thing I can’t catch is a cherry tomato

I ain’t got time for games it’s just me and my goons

We got a drawer to ourselves just me and the spoons

If there’s a steak in the kitchen you’re the last to know

And you should see what I do with a casserole

Think you betta than me man that’s obnoxious

I can even be used to open amazon boxes

You don’t want beef but I’m herdin’ the cattle

Even fortune cookies knew I would win this battle


The student pairs worked with their partner to choose a topic of their own. Continue reading for examples.

Land vs. Sea

Most water is acceptable

Showers make you clean and bearable 

But unlike others, your water has salt

That’s straight-up nasty, not my fault

And yeah, some people like the beach

‘Cause Its the only place within lands reach

But I got nice roads and houses and goats

What do you have besides some boats

In waves, they toss, turn and weave

If you fall in, you can’t breathe

And I hope you know this: Humans don’t float

Now your only hope is that they throw you a rope

Life left the sea half a million years ago

But you wanna go back. For me, that’s a no.

Sorry if that was too quick

hope I didn’t make you seasick

-Zachary Siminoff

I see you on the land but I’m chillin’ on a boat

it’s nice and chilly out here, I may need to get a coat

soon the ocean’s gonna rise and cover up the land

unless you silly people start to lend a hand

people always love the ocean, the ocean shore

even if it’s right outside your door

the ocean cools the burning land

gives you wet refreshing sand

the ocean has a ton of fish 

you can even eat them with house radish

the ocean’s great for going swimming

it makes you wanna just start singing

bioluminescent plankton

sometimes show when water is shaken

the ocean waves just for me

tell me, do you control the sea?

-Jasper Shimmick

Korean food vs. Indian Food

Man if you haven’t had Korean food you’re missing out fool,

We got the best types of meals, served even in school,

You got the rice, banchan, kimchi and soup,

It will boost your metabolism, get you in the loop.

Have you heard of Mukbang, Vlogger’s eating food?

Yeah that came from our soil, the best kind my dude.

If you like spicy, there ain’t no shortage here,wherever you go you will find it everywhere.

In soup, rice cake, noodles and dishes,

And sauces and even our fishes.

We feed the best music stars, have you heard of K-Pop?

If you think your chow is better, please just stop.

Have you heard of kimchi, it’s great for your mind,

It’s got probiotics, fermented and brine.

So if you’re going to say your food is gold,

You may as well forget that goal.

Our cuisine is worth your time, and feeds your soul.


Its spicy and dicey

And it’ll put you in the zone

Its pleasing, appetizing

And will even make you moan

You’re saying you’ve lived 

But you haven’t tried our food?

Our food is barbecued, boiled, sliced and grilled

Your food is dry, bland and has no flavor

That’s probably why most people think our food’s much greater

So come check out our food

If you think you’re in the mood

Overall we’ve got it all

From the bread to the rice

And I can tell you it’s pretty damn nice

-Nacho Desai

Nonfiction vs. Fiction

Stop bombarding us with your awful flights of fancy,

I don’t need to know about superpowers, or magic, or… necromancy.

There’s only so many dystopias I can read… (They’re all basic Mary Sues with dystopian Romeos at their sides…)

Real life gets more interesting than that, it can’t be denied…

Nonfiction is more than just boring textbooks from school,

It can also be quite an essential tool,

Cookbooks, travel guides, newspapers, memoirs, dictionaries…

Fiction literally means fake, but nonfiction? It’s necessary.

Without dictionaries we’d be stuck only with words like of, what, and thing…

Why should we read about some made up lord of the rings?

Is there a genocide happening in China and Kazakhstan?

I don’t know, I don’t care, I gotta read the Prisoner of Azkaban…

Do you want to know how to cook or pay your taxes…?

Or would you rather immerse yourself in these meaningless distractions…?

(If yes you sound ridiculous…) To be without news, or nonfiction would be absurd…

But sure, we can waste time reading To Kill A Mockingbird…

-Sohei J. Wu

Fiction- literature describing imaginary events and people, it’s made in our heads

That’s from both me and what my search engine says

It fills my mind with new worlds, I get away from outside

Armaggeddon? Fighting dragons? You know that’s where I hide

Nonfiction- it happened, that’s old news, it’s boring

What’s that? You said something? Man, I was out cold snoring

So what if a tale’s just a figment of someone’s imagination? At least it’s something

You see here? Of the world you make you can be the king

“When pigs fly.” That’s what they say when something’ll never happen, right? 

Well here they can, just imagine, there’s one soaring by that kite

You know, it’s good to have a healthy, fictitious variety

‘Cause just watching all the news’ll have you struggling with sobriety

All these creative writers overflowing with words, a moment of genius in more than one instance

The difference between flying monkeys and birds, fiction and nonfiction, it’s a good distance

You see, you can take a break from reading a horror story. You can still have a good laugh

But if that were nonfiction? ‘Bout me? Ya’ll’d be reading my epitaph

-S. Z. Nishan

Theism vs. Atheism

In a world of confusion

you come to so many conclusions

Your lack of evidence 

is just negligence

You make a declaration 

and pour out your frustrations 

and I’m going to say this next part in quotations, 

“Why hate? just have some faith”

And to say that faith is irrational 

is honestly just laughable

It’s fundamental, 

it’s instrumental, 

it’s essential 

So finding meaning is impossible? 

Let’s get a little philosophical

Believing in a higher power 

is like struggling to walk up the steps of a tower

Having utter devotion 

is more than just a mere notion

But having a belief 

That can bring you relief

-Dylan Lee

“god” is just a word made up to organize the chaos

Take a look at 2020, now where’s your imaginary boss?

You insult one religious fella and here comes their whole cult crew

Like, pack it up Manson Family, Charlie isn’t coming to save you

You might as well be a harry potter fan with your disney-esque fantasy

Why don’t you just go on and head back to your nuclear family?

The bible fandom is so toxic, did the main character die or something?

From the bigotry to the pedophilia scandals, you’re certainly not skimping

Too many of you use god as a scapegoat to hate

As hard as you try, you can’t clean the nazism off your slate

(Remember your right wingers are the ones advocating for an ethnostate)

You live in a cage of self-imposed rules and regulations

Then you shout from the pit that this is liberation?

If you hold your face close enough to the spaces between the bars, you can almost convince yourself that you’re free

It’s the fact that you’re a scientifically recognized category of trauma for me

You say it’s about community and love, but then alienate anyone who doesn’t fit your definition of perfect, you’re a hypocrite

It’s not a belief system, it’s an excuse for intolerance and delusion, and you know it.

-Nico Khan

Meat-eating vs. Vegitarian

Protein best found in meat,

Makes us feel unique,

Proud of what we reap,

What makes meat good to eat,

Off into my boat we seek,

Answers of what we truly seek,

Before we dive just take a breath,

Could be our final hope no rest. 

Meat gives us strength to obtain our goals for the week,

Its a good source of vitamin c, d, e which boosts our immune system in this time of need,

Meat comes in many shapes and forms,

Just like rib, cuts and KFC that’s finger lickn’ good,

Meat also has iron thats good for humans and lions,

You can eat it at any place or time,

And its almost an option everywhere you dine.

-Darioush Mostoufi

All my life I’ve been told that my choices made me weak

That not eating meat made me a freak

I watch the world go by never questioning the right or wrong

Please explain how you feel once I’ve finished my song.

You tell me you won’t stop because it’s too delicious

You say to not eat meat, “That’s too ambitious!”

I know someone must stand for our plant life brothers

But when you “don’t have a choice,” I choose other

Life is a gift on this planet we share

Tell me how you justify something so unfair

As to take a life that was never yours

And end its journey just to hang a souvenir on your doors?

We’ve got the four kingdoms born from earth mother

They’re supposed to be equal and respect each other

Well, one of our kingdoms is under attack,

So beautiful and powerful but they can’t even fight back.

-Isabelle Walker-Aguero

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