The Power Of The Written Word

The Magnificent Musings is a program that launched in 2018, with the goal of promoting youth literacy. In today’s high tech world, it’s important to recognize the value of reading and writing, not just in the world of academia and business, but also as a way to express oneself and communicate in day to day life. To that regard, Magnificent Musings’ director Rajeev Dutta recently hosted the first annual “May of Magnificent Musings Writing Competition,” an opportunity for local high school students to simply write; to ignore the boundaries of genre, topic, and word count; and to instead, embrace their own individuality and ideas ... the results were stellar.

The team at Page 158 Books – Magnificent Musing’s partner for the competition – and Dutta were immensely pleased with the work submitted by high school students scattered across the Triangle area. Three winners were chosen among the submissions, all of which resonated with strong emotion and craftsmanship. The first place piece, entitled “The Sculptor a Sculpture,” was penned by Halden Levin, a rising senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics who has been reciting poetry through Poetry Out Loud (POL) during her high school career ... she even became a State Finalist this year. Currently, she is working towards developing the NCSSM Poetry Society to share her passion for poetry with the NCSSM community, and serves as an NCSSM Speech and Debate Captain. She hopes to further her understanding of language on a cognitive level by pursuing the field of neurolinguistics.

The second place piece, “Colorful Princess,” was composed by Naveen Ahmad from Wake Forest High School, and the third place piece, entitled “Strings,” was written by Apex Friendship High School student Riley West. All submissions are publicly viewable at

“The Sculptor a Sculpture”

By Halden Levin

The sculptor makes a body from clay
his muscles contracting and relaxing
at each curvature to form a whole
body that moves with his hands work-worn but delicate
the breath of life infused by fingertips
how he moves when he cannot leave
until finished when hardened by kiln
when moving into the eyes of the gazers
who see him stand but not move
why does he stand where no man can see
his hands are a part of the man who stands
in the gazer’s eyes they don’t see him
but he’s there in the man who moves
he is the man he has made
the man in the gazer’s eyes
the man who stands where no man can see his hands
that permeate the surface of the body which moves