Poetry

Scared of Beans

by Siddiq Islam Crouched we areAround sturdy pub woodGloved fingers hugging mugsAnd our laughter steaming up the winter eveningWhen on the ebbing end of a wild winding dialogue of sports and plays and eggs with facesYuv turns to us and tells us he knows how Pythagoras died. The people of Greece angered by the weirdo […]

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Comment, Prose

Fear From Tragedy

by Gregory Davidson [Content warning: gun violence, school shootings, death, and suicide. This piece references the Heidelberg University shooting in January 2022.] For me, it began with an anonymous text on a group chat for international students in Heidelberg, Germany. It asked us to stay inside and stay away from the campus on Neuenheimer Feld. […]

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Poetry, Prose

Small Talk

by Anonymous I wonder who invented British small talk. ‘How’s it going?’ (I woke up this morning and I felt so anxious I couldn’t get out of bed for an hour and a
 half and looking at my phone watching it get later and later made it worse because 
every minute that ticks by is […]

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Artwork, Comic, Poetry

Afraid Gang

by Noah S. Adhikari The Afraid Gang are kids who are silly and afraid. I have no idea why they are afraid. It’s just how they are. They are even scared of pictures and photos. One day I was walking up to them and said, ‘Why are you afraid?’ And you know what happened? They […]

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Prose

Cute Ideas to Spend Valentine’s Day (In Silence)

by Siddiq Islam The most romantic day of the year has come around again. It’s time to grab a partner and try something new. Here are some romantic ideas for you to spend your Valentine’s with your special one in utter silence. Cute Ideas to Spend Valentine’s Day (In Silence)Silent discoSilent filmSilent barbecueStudy session in […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

Sweeney Todd: A Review

by Jerric Chong Of the many celebrated musicals penned by the late Stephen Sondheim (1930–2021), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street doubtless stands out with its lurid and gritty depiction of 19th-century London. Inspired by Victorian ‘penny dreadfuls’, it tells the story of the convicted barber’s return and thirst for vengeance against Judge […]

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Poetry

The Silence of the Tuck

by Anonymous There’s silence from the Tuck Shop,And silence from the sod,Who promised food for Oriel.His name is Hamish Dodd. He made a speech with candied words;He smiled and won the crowd,But then the silence settled in,A monstrous, empty sound. Oh fuck the tuck AND Hamish Dodd,You led us all astray.You promised sweets and tasty […]

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Comment, Prose

What is Silence?

by Joe Lever Scary. Beautiful. Needed. Hard to find. Isolating. Healing. Rare. Here. Silence is scary. The silence of the night convinces us that something is lurking, waiting in the shadows; it is the frailest of protective veils at any moment to be pierced. In conversations silence hangs over us, drawn out second by excruciating […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Four Pitches of Silence

by Monim Wains Control It had been a crazy day. We had heard news in the morning that the data centre had shut down. Four hours of our services completely blacking out, losing I don’t know how many millions. Nothing like this had happened before, and none of us knew what to do. The boardroom […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

It’s the Little Things

by Monim Wains On the podium There was uproar in the air! A deafening cacophony of miscellaneous noise. Cheering, jeering, standing on their feet. All for me. I could barely hear my own thoughts as I took the steps, one by one, to the top. As my eyeline rose above the horizon, the applause tore […]

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Poetry

Joy

by Josh W. At your finger – tips,held at your arms –Reach – ing, just on the tip –Of your tongue, balancing on the edge – of the cliffAlmost, ever, quiteThere.

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Poetry

a dog named joy

by Siddiq Islam i found a dog, a dog named joy, and she wasthe ugliest misrablest creature i’d ever seenher smiles fell limp like wonky rusty seesaws i told her, ‘all my happy poems are gloomy’i do not think she quite knew what i mean:nought but a wonky smile did seep back to me if […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word from the Editors: Joy

by Jerric Chong A very happy New Year, and welcome back from all us at The Poor Print as we embark on Hilary 2022! ‘Joy’, like so many other utterances in this language of ours, arrived with the conquering Normans, and derives ultimately from Latin gaudium through French joie (also meaning ‘jewel’), which then became […]

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Cartoon, Poetry

Sleepy Bob

by Noah S. Adhikari The silliest poem I have ever made Wakey wakey, that same routine,‘Oh, wake up Sleepy Bob’He sleeps like a koala…‘No thank you mom’ This is how sleepy Bob takes a shower Isn’t it funny? ‘Get up, Bob,’ she says This is how sleepy Bob eats, He needs a soft seatAnd worst […]

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College

Your Peer Supporters

by Oriel College Peer Supporters You might remember hearing about Peer Supporters in Freshers’s Week, but that was ages ago – and even worse if you’re not a Fresher! So, here is a reminder. What are Peer Supporters? We are volunteer students, just like you, who have been trained by the Counselling Service to be […]

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Prose

Goodnight, Sleep Well

by M. Davies (College Porter) [CW: corporal punishment] Before prayers at Friday’s house assembly, my name had been called; I was being summoned to be ‘on the carpet’. So, after the assembly, we would change for bed, but I would be having to answer for my misconduct before the House Master. The announcement was often […]

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Poetry

Growing Sleepy

by Siddiq Islam Dare I recline?I grow much too sleepyAnd human designIs too weak to keep meFrom downwardly driftingTo dreams buried deep,The loads of life liftingIn velvety sleep. Dare I lie down?My dark eyes are sinkingAnd temptations drownAll weaker-willed thinking.Succumbing to slumber,My soft, calm mistake.I must not plunge under.I must stay awake.

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Humour, Prose

Dear Beary … [12]

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. To contact him, all you have to do is emailthepoorprint@oriel.ox.ac.uk with the subject line ‘Dear Beary’. […]

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Comment, Prose

The Illusion of Institution

by Monim Wains Institutions have always been interesting to me. There is a realisation that I have had as I have gotten older: they don’t actually exist, do they? As an undergraduate with barely two decades of life under my belt, you might already be switching away from this article, wondering what on earth I […]

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Poetry

The King of Applause

by Siddiq Islam The King needs to hear the extent of his power,So crams to the corners his grand vestibuleWith columns of courtiers, whom every sixth hour,He orders applause from to honour his rule. But crowds often tend to start clapping in tandem,Which lessens the roar of a self-crafted fandom.The cheers must sound full, and […]

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Prose

Aptitude Test for Dyslexics

by M. Davies (College Porter) Sadly, it was never dyslexics who wrote the rules in education, but thankfully it is for Porters to interpret and enforce them in Oxford’s colleges. My school’s ‘Career Aptitude Test’ sticks out in my memory (information gathered on a complex form type questionnaire). The top three recommended professions that came […]

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Artwork, Poetry

Horrid Henry’s Silly Poem

by Noah S. Adhikari Horrid Henry is a silly naughty, silly boy.Perfect Peter is the nice cry baby for real – you will find out later!Moody Margaret is Henry’s worst neighbour everrr! Horrid Henry is silly as a dog.Perfect Peter, nice as a seahorse, cries as a little baby.Moody Margaret is bossy as a cat, […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

Persephone: A Review

by Monim Wains [CW: mentions of mental illness, sexual violence, and miscarriage] A classic tale rewritten with lucid modern lyrics, sung fantastically throughout. That was a fun evening. Persephone is a story that has probably brought many a classicist to tears, with origins far back in Ancient Greece. But Emma Hawkins’s writing brings the story […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

In a Fairytale

by Monim Wains I can see the lights around me, sparkly and bright. And there is glitter on the trees, little fireflies flickering in the wind. Music and colour fill the scene no matter where I look. Here and there, giants curl over steaming hot drinks, smiling and laughing, all their noses bright pink. I […]

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Poetry

F***ing Magic

by Siddiq Islam The whole wide world and all its space,With every land and ocean each,And in between, the brazen beach,The forests green in all their grace,The open fields and hilltops high,And miles and miles of boundless sky. Is this some twisted sorcerer’s scoff,Or are you just here to piss me off?All that space, the […]

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Comment, Prose

Chicken in a Nightmare

by M. Davies (College Porter) [CW: homophobia] Fred Bickerton started at University College as an Under Scout (more specifically as ‘under bedmaker’) in 1897 and retired as Head Porter in 1950. I thought the following may be of interest from his published memoirs. When Fred first started in the Porters’ Lodge as an ‘under-porter’, he […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Lens of Love

by Madeline Dougherty ’Look, there, the way the sunset peeks between those buildings? Isn’t it beautiful?’ Her excitement, awe, is infectious. It would be impossible to disagree, but I look to where she’s pointing anyway. My breath catches in my throat – the sunset isn’t just beautiful, it is stunning. The sky all around is […]

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