Three Poems by Hugo Teen Writer Henrietta Hadley

Posted Tue, 2/16/2016 - 1:24pm by  |  Category:


Three Poems by Hugo Teen Writer Henrietta HadleyEvery week, on Wednesdays, teens flock to the House to attend Write Time, a free writing circle led by Karen Finneyfrock.
Every other week, a group of teen writers comes to the Young Writers Cohort, an MFA-style workshop and literary study group. Every month, that group puts together Stage Fright, an open mic for teen writers. And finally, every summer, there’s Scribes, a two-week-long summer writing camp where teens are immersed in the writing life.

We want you to be able to read the great work coming out of these programs. This week, we’re featuring Henrietta Hadley, a senior who’s been coming to Hugo House since she was fourteen. She’s on the Young Writers Cohort, has attended Scribes, and recently traveled to the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Here are a few of her poems.


Great Gloom and Glory

my mother
drew up a map of all the places
we could name on our hands
and feet I arranged the pictures we
got a new fridge and bought
twenty dollars worth of capers
filled it with big jars of pickled things
and then we kept adding to the picture wall
and I kept on taking
pictures away and
rearranging pretty soon
I was the only one who looked at it
and everyone else just passed by my work
of self expression and domesticity
I started to clean so now I have a made bed
and such and so on but I don’t clean
outside my room except
I tried to unclutter the photo frames near
the dining room table but my mother
put them back said I have them
where I want them the point
I guess that I’m trying to make is
that I try every day
after school to do my
homework on the dining room
table but haven’t done it yet


Great Merciless Beasts

we were wearing
normal clothes
great puffy coats
moving quickly our hands
damp with soot it felt
nearly characteristic
of the place we were in
we went about
our work I did the cleaning
you the design sunk in
our teeth with the files
and whatnot I wasn’t sure
what we would do with all
the knives


Thunder God

o we go out
yes we go out it is night
we look horrific we look scary
my black eye
your deep-set eyes
we go out and
scare people we go
inside we call ourselves o
we go out to the dock and the lake
numb our asses slide
and nearly fall
wind o we get cold
o how we burn up!
we go down slide
down the mountain
o towering mountain
o monkey head
dawn approaches o the lake
the last thing to reach
clear day o no thunder just rain
o we erode the mountain
erode thunder erode!
I spoke to the mountain god
and his big head and the lake he
created there o I did not
mean to bring more deer
to this place I stayed here
so late did
my exercises made
the most of it