Traces, Trash, and Testimony: Rajaeh Green’s “Emotions Evolution”

Editor’s Note: Traces, Trash, and Testimony: Archives and the Literary Imagination was a course taught this Spring at Bard Early College in New Orleans by professor Joseph Bradshaw. In the class, students wrote creative pieces while engaging in archival research at the Historic New Orleans Collection. The students’ combination of poetic and investigatory logic led them into many exciting and unknown places as they thought and wrote about themselves in relation to New Orleans and its checkered history. As students studied at archival documents about subjects as varied voodoo, slavery, Mardi Gras Indians, and more and the Collection, back on BECNO’s campus they wrote poetry, personal essays, fiction, and other as-yet-undefined genres of creative writing. Three outstanding students from the class (Mervian Smith, Rajaeh Green, and Trang Huynh) have offered to share samples of their work here on ViaNolaVie.  Up first is Rajaeh Green and his poem, Emotions Evolution. 

Rajaeh Green, poet and student at Bard Early College New Orleans (photo by: Kelley Crawford)


Emotions Evolution

Let friendship be the golden chain

Shall clasp, in love thy farewell

Hand. Shall say good-by and steal

Away. But memry’s treasures

Ne’er can give. A sweeter

Name or dearer friend

Sweet dreams if love are

Quickly past, but friendship

Ties forever last, the heart

Pure incense give it all

I only ask this sacred name

That you always call me

A friend. I hope we remain

Friends forever that we

Won’t break our sacred

Pack. Oh blessed hope

Whose spirit never dies

Shine on for all the light

Of earthly skies. For splendor

Scenes,and for the humble life

While promising some future

Dear surprise and raising

Beacons in life shifting sea

Thy smile is like the all

Pervading sun. As some lone

Stars in heaven’s boundless

Dome guides in their way benighted

Travelers home, so mayst

Thou shine, thy ray forever bright

I hope our friendship can

Continue strong and last on

Forever and ever because not

Only are you my best friend

You is my first love to

The very end. Let poets quaff to

Beauty’s praise and heroes

Sing to glory lays, but we

Will pledge Cupid dart. A

Charming pain earth’s sweetest ill

So here to love, and beauty

Eyes and here to love a

Fair woman spell, that

Makes man’s life a heaven

I’ve laughed at you, with you

But you are unreal.


Special thanks are due the Historic New Orleans Collection Reading Room and Education staff, most especially Robert Ticknor and Jennifer Schwartzberg, who generously opened the Collection’s doors and assisted students in the research process. 
Joseph Bradshaw is a poet, educator, and archivist. He is the author of two books of poetry. A third book, For Ren Hang and Others, is forthcoming. Traces, Trash, and Testimony was, sadly, his last class at BECNO, as he recently relocated to California.    


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