Elai Shine: Spotlight Poet

Blake Senet


On Wednesday, November 17, Elai Shine ’12 presented three poems at the monthly Writes of Passage meeting. Shine was selected by submitting his work to the Milken Creative Writing leaders. He writes independently as well as for his Study of Fiction Honors class.

“I have always enjoyed literature. Being able to read my own work was a tremendous honor,” Shine said.

At the meeting, Shine read three poems, “Hunting Men,” “Spiders,” and “Red Balloons.” Each of these poems was a narrative written from first person perspective. All of the poems also held profound meaning and provocative imagery.

“Presenting my work in front of an audience for the first time was a little bit nerve-racking. In the end, many audience members told me that they enjoyed my poems which I was very happy to hear,” Shine said.

Shine attributes his proclivity and deep love for the subject of English to his numerous visits to the library. An avid reader, Shine reads at his local public library each Sunday along with his father, Jewish studies teacher Mr. Jeremy Shine. Shine especially enjoys reading comic books as well as more serious forms of literary expression.

“I can really spend all day reading and writing. I love elements of storytelling and hearing a great story,” Shine said.

In addition to English, Shine has many other talents and passions. He is a skillful member of the Model UN team, known for his wit and timely humor. In addition, he is a Photoshop expert, offering a hand to many seniors on their yearbook pages. He also likes tinkering with techno beats, and is an established DJ by the name of Captain Piratestep.

“Listening to Elai’s work was really interesting. He is such a unique and talented individual,” Lucas Fisher ’11, creative writing leader, said.

Red Balloons

Distressed, I lay me down to cry

and found myself a great surprise

that red balloons did leave my eyes

and all the sadness then did die

to strangers did I give balloons

till all but one had left my room

and angry men did yell at me

to give my last balloon for free

and so my mind I did then make

to give to those who chose to take

and plucked the string from out of my eye

and left it for a passerby

Hunting Men

And though it was dark

and the wind and crickets howled

we carried on

for hunting men were we

and the grass shook with our boots

and the trees swayed with our breath which was heavy on our lips

like fog in the mire

and like our grandfathers who kissed the moon

we tipped our hats to show respect

but we were not men of the night

and so we carried on

until we reached a murky lake

and oh we jumped to find

within the water no reflection

and i was frightened in my heart and in my mind

and my tongue stood still

and my fingers grabbed at air until they found it

and wrestled it till the sun came up

and we saw again our reflections ripple

and so we left the place in silence

and did not speak for days

but went to the place of trees and grass

and kissed the moon at night