YU Observer October Poetry Submissions: Faith


By Amalya Teitelbaum, Anonymous Stern Student, HaKohein, & Sophia Baradarian

Each month, the YU Observer sends a call to YU students for poetry submissions following a specific theme. This month, the theme was ‘Faith’, and we are featuring Yair Shavrick’s piece, ‘Bridges’. However, the poems below are other submissions of honorable mention.

I Am 8 Years Old

By Amalya Teitelbaum

I am 8 years old

Normality is bliss

Blonde pigtails, pink dresses, friendship necklaces

Bubbles drifting lazily through the sky

From the whispers of our lips

Born to live which we truly were

I am 13 years old

Transitions galore

First entering the building, tiptoeing on the high school floors

Light-headed on my feet

Blurry vision flicking from my lashes

And yet still born to live

I am 16 years old

Something is wrong

Vertigo, shaking, collapsing on floors

Mothers concerning eyes, fathers raised brows

Was I born wrong?

18 years old


From the walls to the bed, to the blaze blocking my sight

Trading blonde pigtails for a smooth crown

Pink dresses for hospital gowns

I have a clear necklace, one that goes through my neck

Born to survive which I truly wasn’t

I am 20 years old

Motionless, lying in my bed

I think

Feeling nothing hearing nothing

My sight remains

A beautiful blessing yet a horrific curse

For I see my little sisters tears but I can do nothing but scream in my head

Born to die.

21 years old

I met my best friend today

A little girl adorned with a white paper gown and blonde pigtails

How long they will remain is unrevealed

Sitting close, arm to arm eye to eye

Telling her how she will not just survive but live

Eye to eye, my smile birthing hers

Born to make smiles, born to give light

Born to tell my story



By Anonymous Stern Student


This word isn’t just a word.

Rather a connotation.

Connoting many a thing-

A look heavenward.

An innate recognition.

The sacrifice of one’s reason to that that is unproven.

All “positive”.

It also connotes other things –

The continuation of racism.

The continued power of the patriarchy and the subjugation of women.

The molestation of othered groups by society.

Maybe it’s not positive after all.


écrasez l’infâme

By HaKohein, Staff Writer

I used to worship at your feet of gold,

clinging to their comforting, inspiring glean,

trusting that you cared for my prayer,

even though you never responded. 

Your kisses were empty of accompanying words.

Your oracle refused to speak. You were comfortable.

Well now your temple goes up in flames 

and your priest has decried you as a false god.

A woman dressed in pallid gold, whose feet are weak and legs wobbly

now that she is alone, at her altar, with nobody to call her beautiful.



By Sophia Baradarian, Staff Writer

You and I both

watched it unfold

perhaps lives ago.

Ageless stone

carved delicately,

and limned in 

strokes of

gleaming gold, serene.

Virginal vales

lulled once

by muted notes of mirth,

where moistened earth

bore olives to

pepper twilight turf.

Tables laden with

hyssop, curling carob pods

colored cocoa,

crates of curcumin adjoining cumin,

barrels brimming with grapes

plucked from parturient vine.


Men who

thought themselves

gods, descending as wolves

on the fold,

seeking to raze,

to cut for sport.

The eyes of sleeper

and sinner alike,

glances gelid,

waxed deadly still.

For in depthless slumber,

there is no scorching of flesh,

slice of fattened marrow,

nor crack of whitened bone.

No infant tossed to rippling flames

nor dashed against the rock.

No bloodletting sands

nor retribution

wrought upon

tar-stained soul.


I stand here with you,

both of us

beholden by blows

neither felt

nor heard,

but beholden,

even so.

With lashes bathed in brine,

harkening to

the waning wails of gilded stones

our mothers of old

once stroked.

Stones that glisten somberly,

even still

astride a blackened hill.

Do you want to see your writing published? The theme for November’s poetry submissions is ‘Transition.’ Send all submissions to theyuobserver@gmail.com by November 15.