At its weekly Wednesday assembly, two groups of students at Wakefield Country Day School performed appropriately scary poems for their schoolmates. First the fourth-grade students took the stage to recite “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. Each student took a turn stepping forward to recite his or her stanzas from this lengthy poem. Two students wore raven-like capes, and all the students spoke the final spooky word, “Nevermore.”
Then the 12th-grade performed its dramatization of “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot. The students walked solemnly into the school’s auditorium, dressed in black with white and silver masks. As they recited the lines of this famous poem, sometimes singly, sometimes in unison, sometimes onstage, sometimes from backstage, the threatening mood increased in intensity until the final, well-known line: “This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.” The older students in the audience followed the action and the poetry, while the younger ones squealed with excitement at the costumes and gloom.