Marksman Honored at The White House

On Thursday, September 8, 2016, Gopal Raman ’17 was officially appointed as one of five members of the Class of 2016 National Student Poets during a special ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama personally presided over the ceremony and praised the young poets for their courage and art. 
“These talented students are what we call living breathing proof of the power of poetry to transform young people’s lives,” Mrs. Obama said. “We want to honor five outstanding poets each year and give them the mic here in the White House so that they could inspire countless other young people to follow in their footsteps.”
Following Mrs. Obama’s remarks, the five Student Poets read samples of their work. Gopal read his poem “August 23, 2005,” which is printed below.
As a National Student Poet, Gopal was selected from a pool of more than 20,500 submissions. From there, 1,000 submissions earned Gold Keys, qualifying them for national judging; 200 earned National Silver and Gold Medals for Poetry, qualifying them for the National Student Poets Program; 34 semi-finalists earned top consideration by National Student Poets Program Jurors; and 5 finalists were chosen to be 2016 National Student Poets, with Gopal representing the Southwest region of the United States.
"Gopal is a remarkably gifted writer whose passion for language has led him from the classroom to the White House," said Lynne Weber, Trustee Master Teaching Chair in Humanities and Gopal's English Literature & Composition teacher. "The fact that his poems were chosen for recognition among thousands of entries is a testament to his talent and dedication. St. Mark’s can be justifiably proud to have such a distinguished young writer in our midst."
The National Student Poets Program is presented by The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Video of the White House ceremony is available to watch online here. Gopal was also interviewed on Fox 4's Good Day on Monday, September 12.

"august 23, 2005"
by Gopal Raman

“Scores killed as Katrina pounds states along Gulf Coast” – Sun Sentinel
the lichen dips
its furry fingers
just inches in,
but it’s enough.
how nice,
to know when
to stop.
i woke up late today
and cracked open
the faucet
and dipped my
frail fingers in until
they pruned and
i can’t write with
tight skin.
i leave the paper
soaking, graphite
shading the dripping
the paper just sits,
pruned and not
wanting to dry off.
and that must be enough,
to feel the earth crackle
but to not fear the water
creeping through the cracks.
to hear ‘prune’
and think of the fruit.
to hear ‘cane’
and not hurry
to run but
to taste the sugar
melt into your mouth.
my fingers are tightening
up, so i dip them in the stream
but they take longer to

St. Mark’s School of Texas

10600 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75230


About Us

St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.

St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.