ParkTales - Young genius flowers


Save our Libraries - No Cuts Please!
Young creative genius flowers at the Parkdale Library
By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective

Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

On a recent visit to the Parkdale Public Library I picked up this amazing free magazine, Young Voices 2011, published by The Toronto Public Library.

Mayor Rob Ford's threatened cuts to our Parkdale Library including accessibility, materials and programs, has made me more aware of the role our library plays in our communities.
I discovered just how much talent alone is being expressed there. For example, I was so impressed with one magazine being produced, especially the age of the contributors, that I just have to share it with you.
I'm convinced you will be as awed as I am.
From the introduction here is a window to what is inside .
Welcome to Young Voices 2011 

What makes someone a true artist? No one can really define it, but the fact remains that some people are willing to explore themselves and the world around them through activities such as drawing and writing, and to allow that exploration to take them to unexpected and original places.

Artists are talented and skilful, sure, but above all they're engaged with the world and unafraid of risk. They're good at seeing things in ways that no one else has. The teens who have contributed to this year's edition of Young Voices are a pretty valuable bunch of people because they're willing to share their art with us, and to let us use their work to stretch our ideas, perceptions and feelings too.

The artists and writers featured in this anthology are  between 12 and 19 years old, and for many this first publication will be followed by others.

We thank them for sharing their inspiration with us, and for making their own mark on the landscape of Toronto culture. The more artists and writers we have in our lives and in our city, the richer we all are.

Works in this anthology were selected by our editorial board, which is composed of both teen and professional writers and visual artists. We thank them for their contribution as well.


Hasta Siempre

By Claudia Oriano, age 16

Cracks in the pavement,
vibrations we can't feel as
everything falls apart.
Chained to governments, laws and
chalky politicians, ink-stained
fingers flipping through newspapers
pain in size 10 font.
News reports every hour,
taste of oatmeal clouding the pores
as, subdued, we water
plastic plants.
Brainwaves spiking along with
Lady Gaga's tempos
going through motions like old reels
turning and turning
showing faded memories in black and
Yelling out our nightmares in
dusty elevators
and treating each conundrum
as aRubik's cube.
Forgotten are the writings of old:
Meyer our new Tolstoy,
crying for Swan and not Karenina.
Wearing the red shirts with the black
of that revolutionary we don't know.
No longer the young generation's symbol
is two raised fingers
but a white circle with a black star.
We crave oil like junkies
and spend all our money on faulty iPods
(there's a new one every month).
Somewhere a butterfly leaves a prison
but flies too close to the sun -
another soul lost
as we cash in Welfare Cheques
for Atom Bombs.

My Parkdale

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