Creativity Corner

All About the Arts

Iron Curtain, Please

By Michael Lederer

One man’s trash is another’s treasure.

Vladimir the Small, as his­to­ry is sure to remem­ber him, has pulled the iron cur­tain off the trash pile and ordered it rehung. His secu­ri­ty blan­ket. Thir­ty years exposed to West­ern ideas of choice – enough of that. Obe­di­ence or destruc­tion, enough choice for his people.

The good old days.

Pho­to Cred­it: The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989

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An Ode to Berlin – and to my Grandma

By Lisann Rothe

“East Ger­man con­struc­tion work­ers build­ing the Berlin Wall.” Pho­to Cred­it: Nation­al Archives

“It’s August 13, 1961 – the day East Berlin starts build­ing the wall,” my grand­ma remembers.

“On Sun­day night, August 13, Wal­ter Ulbricht, East Ger­man head of state, issues an order to close the Berlin bor­der. Police forces put up barbed wire fences. With­in one day, West Berlin became an island in the sea of com­mu­nism. Trains do not run any­more, and West and East Berlin­ers stand shocked on oppo­site sides of the border.

I hear about it at Moabit hos­pi­tal, where I just gave birth to my first child on August 9. I remem­ber being afraid of a new war and feel­ing help­less in the hos­pi­tal, alone with my child, bare­ly 20 years old. Also, we’re sep­a­rat­ed from our fam­i­ly. My grand­par­ents lived in the Russ­ian sec­tor after the war, just ten min­utes from where we lived in the Amer­i­can sec­tor. My hus­band had fled to West Berlin from Ros­tock in the East to mar­ry me. His par­ents, grand­par­ents, sis­ter, and oth­er rel­a­tives still live there. I feel so help­less and yearn for my fam­i­ly. The future seems so unsure.”

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50 Minutes That Make a Name

By Johanna Gabriela Hernández Schäfer

“’What’s in a name?’” by jack dorsey

I’m named after my grand­fa­thers: Johann and Juan. My name is Johan­na. Through­out my life, I’ve met many Johan­nas. At my uni­ver­si­ty alone, I know near­ly a dozen. It’s led to fun­ny and to con­fus­ing sit­u­a­tions, but it’s always been some­thing to con­nect over. On their own, my names are noth­ing to brag about: Johan­na. Gabriela. Hernán­dez. Schäfer. Johan­na and Schäfer are com­mon names in Ger­many, Gabriela and Hernán­dez are typ­i­cal Peru­vian names. Only togeth­er are they spe­cial. Only togeth­er are they me. But – had I been born 50 min­utes ear­li­er, my name might have been Paula (find out why at the end of the poem).

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Free Verse Poetry or “how to play with unseen rackets”

By Maria Moss

Any­one can write free verse – or so the say­ing goes. Free verse poems are free from lim­i­ta­tions of meter, rhythm, or rhyme – all aspects that some­times cause grief to cre­ative writ­ing stu­dents. Most of my stu­dents are hap­py if, for once, they are free to fol­low their own ideas with­out hav­ing to pay atten­tion to what many per­ceive as the arti­fi­cial­i­ty of tra­di­tion­al rhymed and metered poet­ry. How­ev­er, even free verse poems are not void of artis­tic expression.

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