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Max Surprenant ’22 Wins 2nd place in Writing Contest

Congratulations to Max Surprenant '22 for winning second place in Massachusetts for the Classical Association of New England’s Annual Essay Contest. Max composed a poem for the topic, “Facing Adversity in the Ancient World.” His poem can be read below:


The Gladiator

Where countless men have dealt and died before
Two more stand amid dust and disaster
Only one shall live in life and lore
For glory is a picky bastard.

In size alone they are the same
Each heart burns with different desires
One fights for liberty, one for fame
Forged since youth in unequal fires.

For now let us focus on the latter
Dressed in blood red cape and shiny gear
He knows no hunger, wears no tatters
He chose to fight-- a volunteer.

Now shift and behold his adversary
The scars of lashings past his cape
So many a burden he's had to carry
A slave, he fights for his escape.

Shoulders, forearms tense and now he lunges
Swinging, gasping, trading deadly blows
Blood streams from wounded limbs and yet he charges
Pain is all his battered body knows.

The blades collide with brutal force--a bind
Who will give first and pay the deadly cost?
Here in this final battle of the mind
The second has already lost.

They ask what gave that slave the drive
Which brought the other to his knee
At one conclusion they arrive
Lifelong adversity.