Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Eden Cipolla, '05 Remembers Poetry Night!

Poetry Night holds important memories for Eden Cipolla, '05.  Eden entered The Willows as a 3rd grader with a unique situation; she has lived with cerebral palsy since birth and lacks the ability to speak or move independently.  From an early age, Eden has utilized a motorized wheelchair, assistive communication technology including a computer she programs with her knee to "speak for her, and a companion, Dona. 

During 5th grade, Eden presented an original poem at Poetry Night. With the help of her companion, she danced while a classmate read her poem aloud.

Where Do Leaves Go?
Orange leaves blowing
in the wind
on a gray
gloomy day.
The sky's dimmed light
saddens me.

But the leaves
the sound is music
to my ears.

I listen
and watch

Where do the leaves go?
Do they get lost?
Do they ever find
their way home?

As I watch the leaves 
do a little dance,
I laugh
and feel so at peace.
      Eden Cipolla '05

"We did contact improvisation," recalls Eden, describing how  Dona assisted her move onstage to the rhythm of the words.  "I had so much fun onstage, and it felt wonderful to dance and have everyone watch us.  My favorite part about Poetry Night was seeing so many different kinds of performances and seeing so many of the students' families there supporting everybody."

Eden reflects,  "The Willows meant so much to me!  I have beautiful memories from my three years there, and every time I have gone to visit, I've had such amazing and touching experiences.  The last two times were especially amazing because at the time, I was having a very hard time at high school.  As soon as I go to The Willows, I just feel surrounded by so much love.  I felt safe enough to just let go of my stresses, and I felt like everyone was there to give me the support I needed at the hardest times of my life.  When I was at The Willows, I could totally relax and just be myself."

Eden recently returned to The Willows as an alumni poet, and at the 2007 Poetry Night one of her original poems was read aloud.

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