Poems in Honor of Maya Angelou & Women’s History Month

To honor Maya Angelou and Women’s History Month, please enjoy the following poems written by NEHS officers from the Best-Shirey-Little Chapter at Sullivan High School in Sullivan, IL.

Maya Angelou was a woman of many talents, but she was most known for her poetry—typically writing about racism, sexuality, love, and loss. Though she remained mute for five years of her life, she still spoke six different languages. She was ultimately inspired by one of her teachers to begin her writing career, which inevitably changed her life.

Women Make the World Go ‘Round

Becky Cullen

Strong, beautiful, kind
Like the sun and moon that take care of the earth
Women make the world go ‘round
Like the bees and the trees
That take care of the flowers and the air
Because of
We are not servants
We are not quiet
We are not weak
We live how we want to
Not how we are told to

Set Us Free

Becky Cullen

The bullets hit our skin
The words tear through us
The actions
Shatter Us
Watch me fall
Watch us fall
This is not how we are supposed to be
This is not how we will live
This is not how we will be treated
Climb to the very top
Yell and Smile and Sing and Cry
We will not be torn down
We will
We will be

The Truth of a Flower

Linnéa Graham

Love is like a garden
It takes more than just time for it to grow
It takes more than just words for it to show
But if you’re not careful love can be like a burden Like a flower that just won’t bloom
Everything is there for it to flow
Thinking maybe it’ll glow
But all you’re left with is gloom

Best-Shirey-Little Chapter Officers: Ruby Haegen, Becky Cullen, Linnéa Graham, Amalie Bear, and Kiley Dyer serve as the chapter officers for the Best-Shirey-Little Chapter of the Sullivan High School National Honor Society. Our chapter at Sullivan High School primarily aims to give back to the community by writing pen pal letters with our elementary students, providing necessities and books for our Little Free Library, helping with local fundraisers, and more. We truly embrace the NEHS mission, “Gelast Sceal Mid Are,” Old English for “Duty Goes with Honor.”

Front: Linnéa Graham, Becky Cullen, and Gracee Helton
Back: Amalie Bear, Kylie Dyer, and Ruby Haegen

National English Honor Society

The National English Honor Society (NEHS), founded and sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, is the only international organization exclusively for secondary students and faculty who, in the field of English, merit special note for past and current accomplishments. Individual secondary schools are invited to petition for a local chapter, through which individuals may be inducted into Society membership. Immediate benefits of affiliation include academic recognition, scholarship and award eligibility, and opportunities for networking with others who share enthusiasm for, and accomplishment in, the language arts.

America’s first honor society was founded in 1776, but high school students didn’t have access to such organizations for another 150 years. Since then, high school honor societies have been developed in leadership, drama, journalism, French, Spanish, mathematics, the sciences, and in various other fields, but not in English. In 2005, National English Honor Society launched and has been growing steadily since, becoming one of the largest academic societies for secondary schools.

As Joyce Carol Oates writes, “This is the time for which we have been waiting.” Or perhaps it was Shakespeare: “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer . . .” we celebrate English studies through NEHS.

National English Honor Society accepts submissions to our blog, NEHS Museletter, from all membership categories (students, Advisors, and alumni). If you are interested in submitting a blog, please read the Suggested Guidelines on our website. Email any questions and all submissions to: