The Men of the Pen

My friends and I on a warm summer night

Drove down to the famous home of fright

11 Acres and surrounded by walls

The WV State Penitentiary held them all

A prisoner’s home was a 5×7 cell

A horrible home, anyone could tell

We went into the prison yard

And looked at the scary windows barred

My friend looked at me and with a sneer

Dared me to prove that I lacked any fear

I ran in the dark like I had a race to win

Until something or someone hit me in the shin

I tripped and I tumbled to the courtyard ground

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To my amazement, there was nothing around

I don’t know what tripped me before I flew

But I’m sure it was no being I ever knew

The fear with which we were all filled

Was followed by an eerie chill

We decided that, without consent,

A spirit approached us with intent

To make his darkened presence felt

With a chill that even hell couldn’t melt.

The Romantic Wheeling Project is a multi-genre place-based learning project where 12th grade Honors English students at Wheeling Park High School used themes of British Romanticism like Natural over Artificial, Emotion over Reason, and the Quest for Forbidden Knowledge to explore their emotional connection with The Friendly City that raised them. Students were to choose one landmark, neighborhood, or place in Wheeling to inspire their open form creative writing. The student wrote short stories, poems, songs, and played with other genres to express their connections and views of Wheeling through a Romantic lens.