Seventeen-year-old David Jones, who’ll be a senior this fall at West Philadelphia High, was not surprised when he learned he had been named Philadelphia’s next youth poet laureate.
“It was super cool,” he said after receiving the honor during a City Hall ceremony in front of his family, friends, and city officials including Mayor Nutter. “Honestly, I kind of expected it.”
Jones, who has been writing poetry for years, was calm and confident as he recited one of his poems, Birds, an homage to Maya Angelou’s famous work.
“Pretty birds have the worst songs,” he said slowly, allowing each word to make an impact. His audience was rapt, paying attention to every word.
And when he finished with, “So if you’ve never been in chains, you won’t understand why the caged bird sings,” they clapped their hands with vigor.