NHC's First Poet Laureate, David Bell (2007)
The search for a NHC Poet Laureate began in January 2007. The idea to name a Poet Laureate for NHC came to Librarian Jill Spriggs as she was reading about the U.S. poet laureate and the poets laureate of other countries. A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government and often expected to compose poems for state occasions and other government events. She saw that poets laureate write to commemorate or celebrate national moods, and thought it would be interesting to name a student to serve as a campus Poet Laureate.
Spriggs' fellow librarian Dr. Carolyn Jacobs, and English department faculty members Dr. Joyce Boatright, Bruce Machart, Michael McFarland, and John Partida discussed the new concept. A search was begun in February, using posters and e-mail announcements to encourage any student on campus to submit a poem on the subject "Achievement."
Answering the campus-wide challenge to write a poem on "Achievement," NHC student, David Bell, composed a three line haiku. The minimalism and intense focus of the haiku structure suited Bell perfectly. Bell submitted two poems, and after the English faculty group judged all the poems without knowing the author's names, Bell's poems won both first and second place in the contest.
About the winning poem Dr. Boatright, commented "classic haiku!" Professor Partida explained his decision, "...I thought the word "symposia" was an impressive choice. It is a word with many definitions, and it gave the work depth, which is the ultimate goal for the poets who write haiku." Of his poem, Bell said that he likes the minimalism and elegance of haiku, a Japanese poetry style. He has taught Kung Fu for the past nine years, and finds both the poetry and the martial art form to have similarities. "The winning poem took little effort, it just came out," said Bell. He then spent additional time researching the words of the poem to assure they were precisely accurate. "Writing the poems helped me grow." he said.
A haiku by David Bell
Lone Star College-North Harris,
Verse by David Bell
Nothing simpler so emboldens a man
Nothing gives greater rise to courage
Nothing is more vital to a goal
than forging one's own
Many are the talented men
who wish for should have beens
waiting in vain for some great boon
Few are the great men
Who bend the should have beens to their will
Forging their own great blessing
Dancing with life, leading to their own tune
The talented men belittle them
whining pitiful why not me's
Great men pay no mind
For they have the will to achieve