Prose

Alive [4/4]

by Leo Gillard Arin realised, now, that things were going to be okay in the end. Maybe they would have always been fine. Maybe Kieran was always going to pull through and come out the other side. Maybe it only seemed like that now, when he had a different perspective. It did seem sort of […]

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Comment, Prose

Pondering Plentiful Perspectives

by Martin Yip History is written by the victors, they say. I spent much of the past summer in two interesting locations – Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Both countries share a history of communist rule which are, interestingly enough, depicted from […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Assist [3/4]

by Leo Gillard Kieran was perfectly aware that his life had… not exactly gone as planned. That he was stuck in something he couldn’t quite see the end of, couldn’t reach the bottom of to push himself back up again. He’d gone down the wrong path, somewhere along the line, and he’d sunk somewhere without […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Snow

by Iona Cowley The snow came over the night, as we thought it would. Slowly white piled up as duplicate of all, inching its way upward, cruel and faded shadow’s opposition. The sky was unusually light, no doubt the work of the millions of tiny crystals that were diffusing the neon street lamps as they […]

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Humour, Prose

University Survival Guide

by Ruida Ding Time Management Strive to study in a systematic manner, for example by following a schedule to work a fixed amount of time each day. With sufficient advance planning, one can avoid working late into the night and circumvent all-nighters. Career Make use of Michaelmas term to converse with firms which interest you. […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

Spring Awakening: A Review

by Raghav Arora and Samanwita Sen Spring Awakening is a bold take on teenage sexuality. It follows the experiences of various adolescents,’ sexuality coming to full bloom, with a major focus on Wendla Bergmann as she forays into the unfamiliar territory of lustful passion in her relationship with Melchior Gabor. The play strikes a fine […]

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Comment, Prose

No Sacrifice Too Small

by Martin Yip On 1 October 2019, the People’s Republic of China celebrated its 70th anniversary. In Beijing, the largest ever military parade was staged. Fifteen thousand troops marched across Tiananmen Square with armaments that were all made in China. ‘Patriotism and pride swelled among the Chinese as they celebrated the country’s seven decades of […]

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Prose

Anxiety [2/4]

by Leo Gillard Laila could see that he was on the edge of something; something she didn’t want to see come to  pass. Actually, they could all see it. Kieran was standing on the edge he’d been standing on for years now. Yet it… it almost wasn’t him she worried for. Everyone knew that Kieran […]

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Prose

To My Parents

by Samanwita Sen Dear dreamer, It must have been a treacherous sail across the world.  I can imagine it – how years before my formless thoughts could fathom the existence of time and a world beyond you and this beautiful thing called growing up, you must’ve arched your back, reaching for the specks of stardust […]

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Prose

Killing Sacrifice

by Monim Wains Those who are selfless, who give to others, in some way or another, are worthy of respect, or so we think. The epitome of such people is those who sacrifice their whole lives to protect something worthwhile. We admire and respect their courage, celebrate their spirit with great monuments and ceremonies. What […]

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Prose

‘Of songs that die not’: A Quiet Hero of the Somme

by Grace Khuri 2019 marks the hundredth anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles (signed 28 June 1919), which officially ended the First World War. At this time of year, and not least during this twilight of the centenary commemorations, we reflect on the subject of sacrifice and its meanings. There are many types of sacrifice, […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Apart [1/4]

by Leo Gillard He’d never dared think about something like hope. Hope was for fools, for those reaching out in the dark, expecting nothing but still seeing everything, somehow. He didn’t have the luxury to entertain something so trivial, so baseless, so- Orion hoped for many things. He knew the hope was futile. He hated […]

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Creative Writing, Poetry, Prose

Pandora

by Monim Wains You stood at the bottom of the waterfall, pelted by the deluge, punches of weight pounding down on your bones, thumping a tonne on your shoulders. You had been brought to the forest some time ago; not out of your own volition, but by those who decreed that you should exist. Like […]

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Prose

Killing the Dragon

by Michael Angerer The world we live in certainly appears to be a dangerous place these days: a single glance at the news is enough to distract us from our petty worries about busy Oxford terms or a slightly less busy year abroad. Every headline promises another debacle, from Brexit to Syria to whatever President […]

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Comment, Prose

The Ghosts of Protests Past

by ZX and Martin Yip ‘Nostalgia’ has two meanings. Originally, it meant ‘homesickness’. Today, it means ‘longing for the past’. For Hongkongers living in the UK, both meanings are apt. On Sunday 9th June, huge crowds filled the streets of Hong Kong to protest against a proposed law that would allow anyone in Hong Kong […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Winter [4/4]

by Leo Gillard Content warning: implied/referenced emotional abuse The sky was dark, and as Zach sat on the chair next to the radiator, he could watch snow falling. The street they lived on was always pretty poorly lit at night, but the light from the single streetlamp he could spot illuminated the flakes as they […]

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Comment, Prose

Nostalgia

by Peter Gent Four years ago when we launched the print edition of The Poor Print, the editorial team, then led by Jacob Warn, had an idea: we would publish anything anyone submitted. But, we said, we would only do so if we could shape submissions with a strong editorial hand. We wanted concise, pithy, […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

I Remember

by Monim Wains A blank white lit the room, harsh surgical light on every sterile surface. It would have felt clean and empty were it not for the sombre that stained the air. Silence echoed through the room. All the colours were muted: pastel blue and that green that looked like plastic dyed in washing […]

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Comment, Prose

A Farewell from the Editors: Nostalgia

by Michael Angerer The end of the academic year is upon us, vacation-time is about to break out, and so it is time to look back fondly upon our term as Executive Editors of The Poor Print: it is time for nostalgia. You might think that the word ‘nostalgia’ has ancient roots; you would be wrong. […]

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Artwork, Photography, Prose

Flower Press

Text and Photograph by Megan Bowler It seemed a waste to let the petals fall and wither,to grace and mingle with the hoovered dust.There was a selfishness in keeping a flower,cut and vased and terminal. Doomed, they bloomed a frail week,irredeemable, and yet I could not part with the remainder. Crushed and crispened under weighty […]

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Humour, Prose

‘Dear Beary…’ [7]

by Beary McBearface Beary McBearface, treasured Oriel mascot and JCR staple, is here to help you with your troubles. In this column, Beary will attempt to find solutions to your little college worries; trust him, he’s seen it all. All you need to do is email thepoorprint@oriel.ox.ac.ukwith the subject line ‘Dear Beary’. Of course, if you’d […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Adult Single 20:33

by Kate Whittington My birth is a juddery one. I am seized by quick, tight spasms and then torn jaggedly from white unborn skin. I am imprinted quickly in strong black lines. There is little after-flow of blood. Into her hands, her fingers, warm jittering fingers and wrists damp with scent and sweat, little nicks […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Autumn [3/4]

by Leo Gillard The sunlight was streaming through the trees, dappling the ground with ever-shifting patterns. As they walked, Sasha in front and Zach next to him just behind her, leaves steadily fell from the trees with every gust of wind. Further off in the distance, Arthur could hear Willow somewhere in the stream. Well, […]

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Creative Writing, Poetry, Prose

Embrace

by Monim Wains Skin pulled tight with springs and coils tense and stiff. Cold attic on a dry winter day, lit only by moon-blue beams that cut a chill in your chest. Each breath ebbing out in gasps. Anguish for a single sunlit ribbon to swim through it all, awashing you in warmth. To lay […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

My Mother Runs in Zig-Zags: A Review

by Samanwita Sen When walking away after watching a performance of My Mother Runs in Zig-Zags, perhaps the most lasting impression one is left with is how seamlessly and intricately the play has been put together. It’s no secret that, when watching the play, every note that is struck, every movement that is executed, and every […]

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Humour, Prose

‘Dear Beary…’ [6]

by Beary McBearface Beary McBearface, treasured Oriel mascot and JCR staple, is here to help you with your troubles. In this column,  Beary will attempt to find solutions to your little college worries; trust him, he’s seen it all. All you need to do is email thepoorprint@oriel.ox.ac.uk with the subject line ‘Dear Beary’, and if […]

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Comment, Prose

The Spirit of Societies

by Anonymous The granting of privileges to drinking societies is incompatible with a College ethos of inclusivity and equality. A contradiction lies at the very heart of the justification for College offering privileges to drinking societies. Two conceptions of these clubs are offered; neither of these are adequate and it is only through the unjustified […]

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Creative Writing, Poetry, Prose

Love Says

by Monim Wains Love has a thousand shades from the mellowest yellow to the deepest red. It paints the grey wrinkles of a face onto a canvas, traced with lolling eyes and a lazy smile. Love. Passion and heat, calm warmth, drowning emotion and friendship. Inside jokes and a decade of moments, threads of memories […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Summer [2/4]

by Leo Gillard It was mid-June, and the sun was probably burning the back of Sasha’s neck by now. She’d regret it later, but right now she couldn’t bring herself to care all that much. No, her priority was the ground in front of her: weaving her fingers through the warm earth, rooting out the […]

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Interview, Prose

JCR Peer Supporters: George Mundy

Interview by Michael Angerer George Mundy, our first peer supporter to be interviewed for The Poor Print, is from the ‘lovely little pseudo-village’ of Hampton Hill. He is in his second year of studying Biochemistry, and he plays lacrosse, basketball, and Nintendo. George lives in the Dolls House in Third Quad, in 12.5, and is […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Ripples in the Cracks

by Samanwita Sen You have always marvelled at the immaculate gloss of supermarket aisles, the shiny pages of magazine covers categorized into pristine, neat little sections which spring out to accost you with a lurid burst of colour; lurid, precisely to compensate for the depthless caricatures they celebrate; lurid, as if in contrived rebellion against […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Spring [1/4]

by Leo Gillard ‘Ready?’ Arthur asked, his eyes fixed on the building in front of them. It was… small. The garden was covered in weeds, the grass overgrown, leaves still on the ground from autumn. The house itself was built of red brick, a squat-looking bungalow with shuttered windows, the blue paint of the door […]

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Culture, Prose

Heartless Love

by Martin Yip The Chinese writing system is one of the most beautiful currently in use. Compared to alphabets, whose characters are phonographic (meaning they represent sounds), Chinese characters are logographic: each character represents a word or phrase. The result is a system that elegantly condenses information, and rich in aesthetic value. Around two millennia […]

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Humour, Prose

‘Dear Beary…’ [5]

by Beary McBearface Beary McBearface, treasured Oriel mascot and JCR staple, is here to help you with your troubles. In this column,  Beary will attempt to find solutions to your little college worries; trust him, he’s seen it all. All you need to do is email thepoorprint@oriel.ox.ac.uk with the subject line ‘Dear Beary’, and if you’re lucky your […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

A Scene

by Monim Wains Crisp air blows at my hands and ears; spring breaks from winter. Some days that chill and others that mellow. Freshness surrounds me now; everything filtered with a screen of sunlight behind the clouds. The green grass is shaded a slight yellow, as if the air is coloured warm. My legs are […]

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Comment, Prose

Searching for Beauty in Law

by Zixin Jiang Having come to law from a background in philosophy, I’m sometimes asked which of the two I like better. The two are similar, e.g. they both test a combination of logical and verbal skills. I find both very interesting. Philosophy can be very abstract sometimes, whereas law has a more obvious practical […]

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Prose

On Sonnets

by David Asamoah Their dark thoughts are eclipsed by blinding love For her sweet soul, it’s all their hearts can see As martyr’s sights are fixed on realms above And reason dies to set their chained thoughts free There’s no shame in that trip to martyrdom As in their wills, for her their hearts have […]

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Prose, Reviews

You Are Frogs: A Review

by Michael Angerer The self-described dark comedy You Are Frogs, put on by Practically Peter Productions, is above all a baffling play: perhaps the most baffling theatrical experience to come out of this term. Having ascended the steps up to the Burton Taylor studio, the unsuspecting playgoer intrudes into the depressingly bright-coloured kitchen of two frogs, […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

The Tears of an African Run Inside

by Atinuke Olu-Lutherking The silver streaks in her hair glistened in the white light. I stared into her kola-nut coloured eyes. Her delicate wrinkles softened as she smiled. I couldn’t help but grin at her. She couldn’t help but smile at me. Life was sweet. The door creaked open. A woman strolled in. Suddenly, the […]

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