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from Another Four

Raphael H., class of 2025

(loosely based on Four Quartets)

Time present and time past
Are both present in time future – T.S. Eliot

Quartet II: A Painting

The threads of millennia are woven

Walking balls of yarn and dust meander along their crumbling bridges

Into the dark beyond

The needles they carry drag through the ether at their feet

And new bridges appear

Crossing the gap between death gained and life lost

Throw yourself into the gaping mouth between and find purpose


I will guide you down through the void

We will guide you all

Bring your hands, bring your skills, limited though they may be

And as you fall, for you will forever, until forever ends

Weave a tapestry


Come, observer, for the writing on the wall spins words

Listen to the crying, the screaming

Breathe in the fumes and the pungent smell of time future’s victims

Let your mind rest on the fact that you are already one of them


Read it through your tears

Warn the wrinkled sword,

the brain, of what has been

Hold the walls of time past, keep time present from time future

Where, in the waves of null, llun presides

Keep her close to your heart, or lose your organs

Have them ripped from your chest, consumed by the ones who drill in the dark

And blind more than the eyes with the fiery light

Not of heaven, no, that creature was burnt at the stake the day speech died

And the day the words were written

On the crumbling wall, riddled with bullet holes, on a cold, bright april morrow,

Where the clocks strike Thirteen,

And times past tick on.


So before you go,

Toss me a thought

Because I’ll stay by your side, my dear child.

And always will.


Ilaria C., Class of 2022

A golden shovel

after “Separation” W.S. Merwin


I weave your

presence into a red quilt, absence

of mind. Have you eaten? Has

the sky rained and gone?

I am finishing the crimson, through

with ruby. Do you need the quilt, or me?


Natalie S., Class of 2022

After Harmony at Last by Luna dB, Class of 2022


They sit hand in hand in the sea

of clouds colored purple


Waltz on these puffs

that burrowed deep into your head

like pleasant cobwebs


Nothing outside


The red queen sits in her purple basins

with fire hair

She steams the puffs

that water


Funny how she

shields us from the storm


Fire trails

gold drops fall from the sky


I meet you at duskbreak.

Two Lovers, Two Minds

Flavia T., Class of 2025

One bench, one bridge, one bed, we share physically.

Our eyes fighting desperately to look at each other,

Our hearts not letting our hug go, their arms wrapped tightly together.

Trying to hold each other's hand, only to be divided by the sweat that builds up.

Your silhouette dominates your melancholic features.


Do we really love each other? Or have we lost our touch in affection?

The sound of our footsteps creating their own conversation, filling up the silence that lingers.

Devoting our time and pleasure to the people we love,

But sadly, we happen to not be any of those people.

The wind howling our names through the ditch, the void which we have created ourselves.

Not even cupid can solve the misery that lies secretly,

For our spirits have awakened and chosen to part.

Perfect, American English

Sophia T., Class of 2025

Because there is such thing as sacrifice,

the woman will dream

of gold mountains & swelling hills

& bright little hopes. Heimong she says,

the land across the ocean will have

good food & good opportunities and

most importantly

people who look just like her. Danhai

she will say later,

longing for pearl river deltas &

wishing she were not a yellow duckling swimming

in a pond of ugly, hating swans for

Keouidei she explains,

speak perfect American English

and she

does not.


American English,

is a language of humiliation

if you have an accent you are dumb & if you use your mother tongue you are dumb &

if you are different in any way you are dumb &

suddenly the woman, who was—is—very smart

is suddenly very, very dumb.

Deemgai she asks,

do foreign words weigh like foreign rocks & the act of reading books drift

so far out of her closed, reaching palms. The woman is not lonely

foreignness is common, racism more so—

but keouilum sometimes

why her own daughters do not want to talk like her & are ashamed

to eat what she eats & go where she goes.

The woman now dreams

of pearl river deltas & mud-eating catfish &

mountains that shine like jade rather than gold. Yet,

she remains, awzidou she says,

for there is such a force as family and

because there is such as a thing,

as sacrifice.


The OVILLEJO form is credited to Miguel de Cervantes. It is a favorite among students and Creative Writing teachers, including St. Stephen’s School’s own Moira Egan. Ms Egan has a rule, as a matter of fact, that she never assigns a writing prompt unless she has done one of them herself. Indeed, she had never written an ovillejo. Inspired by Sophia’s Taco Tuesday Explovillejo and a conversation about the origins of “giovedì gnocchi,” she finally wrote her own ovillejo (or Gnovillejo), which appears below.

A formal explanation from Sophia T.S.: “An ovillejo is a Spanish poetic form that is made up of 3 rhyming couplets and a final quatrain. The longer lines are 8 syllables. The last line of the quatrain consists of lines 2, 4, and 6 (Brewer, Writer’s Digest). When I tried to write an ovillejo, I accidentally added an extra couplet! Ms. Egan encouraged me to go with it, and she cleverly came up with the name ‘explovillejo.’”

Explovillejo on a Taco Tuesday

Sofia T.S., Class of 2024

Tuesdays go all the way to six

The clock ticks,

But the hand inches, takes its time

I write a rhyme

Then through hunger, my mind wallows

On tacos,

And I look on what I have done

For fun

My explovillejo is done

And I am happy now, not tired

For I have accomplished to what I aspired

The clock ticks, I write a rhyme on tacos, for fun.

Gender Neutral

Sara H., Class of 2023 

Chase a word hopping down a page,

bird in a cage

flies far from grammatical rules

How cruel!

This bird escapes tradition;

Vile ambition,

You fly without my permission.

“What’s the bird’s name – what word?” you say

I present to you the pronoun “They”

Bird in a cage, how cruel; vile ambition

The Expedition

Derek M.B., class of 2025

A long and arduous expedition up Mount Gill;

but they will.

A storm is coming, it almost seems impossible to go further.


They will persist and succeed! It will really set the tone when they

reach home.

They will be awarded with trophies polished in chrome.

The mountain looks all so beautiful in its might,

and the storm seems to be clearing out of sight.

But they will never reach home.


Moira Egan, Creative Writing Teacher

(after Sofia T.S.)

If it’s Thursday, it must be gnocchi.

Is it hokey?

Oh, come on, they’re so delicious.

I love dishes

that seem to have a mission,

that reflect tradition.

Prior to Friday’s fishy inanition,

enjoy this carb-load, born of religion,

served with pesto, sugo — even pigeon.

Is it hokey? I love dishes that reflect tradition.




Lixuan D., Class of 2024





This is a translation of a poem written by the Tang Dynasty Chinese poet Li Bai (701-762CE)


Longing Thoughts, Silent Night

Shimmering and twinkling, spilling on the window sill, the moon.

Is it a frost jacket for the floor, newly made, by the moon?

I can’t help but raise my head, towards the moon.

How bright, outside the window, up in the sky, shines the moon!

Deep in thought, I bow my head, away from the moon.

Longing for my homeland, distant, like the moon.


Uma S., Class of 2024

Poem originally written by Gulzar in Hindi:



बस चंद करोड़ों सालों में

सूरज की आग बुझेगी जब

और राख उड़ेगी सूरज से

जब कोई चांद न डूवेगा

और कोई  जमीं न उभरेगी

तब ठंडा बुझा इक कोयला-सा

टुकड़ा ये  जमीं का घूमेगा


मद्घम ख़किसत्री रोशनी में!

में सोचता हूं उस वक़्त अगर

काग्ज़ पे लिखी इक नज़्म कहीं उड़ते-उड़ते

सूरज में गिरे

सूरज फिर से जलने लगे!



In a billion years, when

The sun’s fire dwindles

And ash blows across its surface

When the moon will no longer wane

And the land not rise

When like a cold, burnt-out piece of coal

This earth revolves, lost in its gyre,

Trailing a dying sepia glow

I think then

If a poem written on a piece of paper

Was to waft along

And perchance land on the sun,

The sun would ignite again!


My rendition;

When the Moon Will No Longer Wane


The tears that skim your face, shimmer when

You glance upon the

mystic, marvelous, moon.

Trying to find or will,

that peace of mind, which no

-one else can offer you any longer.

You know what they say;

the light is ever brighter when the crescent wanes.

hero jill muti
Chapter 01: News from the Board of Trustees | Welcome to St. Stephen's

Welcome Head of School-Elect Jill Muti

The St. Stephen’s community looks forward to welcoming Head-Elect Jill Muti when she arrives in Rome later this summer.

For the last eighteen years, Ms. Muti has been the Head of Ashley Hall, a Pre-K-12th-grade independent school for girls serving 685 students. In this capacity, she has managed the budget, staffing, and all aspects of student life and has had hands-on leadership in virtually every dimension of the School's program, including strategic planning and development. 

Chapter 02: War in Ukraine | A Comment on Our Times, Cortile 2022 Highlights

The Fight for Ukraine: A Journey to the End of the Night

It was a day after Russia invaded when Alex texted.

Now a successful attorney, my good friend is Ukrainian. In childhood, he was a refugee, encamped in Italy before being relocated to Texas. “Remember that thing you wrote about whether individuals shape history?” he asked. I had to admit that I did not. “I do,” he said.

By Jen Hollis - Teacher of IB History
ukraine facts
Chapter 02: War in Ukraine | A Comment on Our Times

Ukraine Facts at a Glance



In March of 2014, Russia invaded and subsequently annexed a region of Ukraine called Crimea, which Russia believed belonged to them. It was annexed through a Crimean parliament vote, followed by a 97% win referendum. The annexation, however, is still widely disputed by Ukraine and the International Community. (NPR)  It remains the only time a European nation has used military force to seize territory since World War II.

By Aslan Stephenson ‘25
Chapter 02: War in Ukraine | Putin's Mind, A Comment on Our Times, Cortile 2022 Highlights

Opinion - Putin’s Mind: A Psychological Assessment

With Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine,

Russia's rise towards autocracy hit a new high. Putin has threatened any country attempting to intervene with dire consequences, which some fear may include the use of nuclear weapons, during this full-scale military invasion.

By Emma C. Jansen ‘24
when will it end
Chapter 02: War in Ukraine | A Comment on Our Times

When Will It End?

A chill ran down my spine on February 24th as I watched the invasion of my home country in absolute horror.

Many said it wouldn’t happen. It did. Our president, Volodymyr Zelensky, appealed to the Russian people in a last-ditch effort to stave off the inevitable in those early morning hours in late February.

By Unnamed SSS Student
Chapter 03: Around School | Boarding Activities

Boarding: Holiday dinner & weekend activities

Enjoy our photo gallery

Lago Albona bording2
Chapter 03: Around School | Fall Trips, Boarding Activities

Boarding: Lago Albano & Fall trips

Enjoy our photo gallery

Field trip&CAS2
Chapter 03: Around School | Service, Field Trips

Field Trips & CAS

Enjoy our photo gallery

Chapter 04: Technology Today | Blockchain, Technology

The Blockchain

Generation Z is growing up in a technologically advanced world.

Even though we are supposed to know the latest technology and advancements, many things you read about are still unclear and confusing.

By Emma C. Jansen ‘24
love of bitcoin
Chapter 04: Technology Today | Love of Crypto, Technology

For the Love of Crypto

Cryptocurrency is one of the world’s greatest inventions.

However, there is a lot of false information about it. For many, it remains mysterious and something not well understood. Because of that, many people choose to stay away from it, believing they will lose a lot of money. But is that really the case?

By Matteo Torralba ‘24
Chapter 04: Technology Today | NFT, Technology

I’ll Have an NFT, Please

In the last couple of months, interest in NFTs has skyrocketed.

If you haven’t heard of or know anything about this latest craze, the concept is relatively simple. NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, which is essentially a virtual or digital collectible (e.g., art). If you are to buy a particular NFT, that means you are the only certified holder of it. It’s a pretty cool phenomenon.

By Francesco Saviotti ‘23
Chapter 04: Technology Today | New Technologies

New Technologies on the Horizon

Blockchain technology offers many exciting possibilities in various industries–from finance and law to music and fashion,and we’ve read a few use cases in this chapter. Below, you’ll find a few more technologies that are my top picks I believe we should keep an eye on for the impact each has the potential of having on human welfare.

By Francesco Saviotti ‘23
Chapter 05: The Dr. Helen Pope Lyceum | The Lyceum, Classics

The Aventinus Minor Project: An Educational and Community Archaeology Project

Learning about human societies - past, present, and future.


By Inge Weustink - Director of the Lyceum, Classics Teacher
Chapter 05: The Dr. Helen Pope Lyceum

Scientific Methods in Archaeology Lessons

During the last week of March, the 9th- and 10th- graders engaged in a presentation followed by an interactive session related to archaeology and the sciences.

By Esme Lundius ‘10 - St. Stephen’s Activities Coordinator, Boarding Department
Chapter 06: Creative Writing | The Arts, Creative Writing

Celebrating the Core Value of Creativity

Creative Writing Teacher Moira Egan is extremely pleased to introduce these pieces by students in the Spring Semester’s Creative Writing Classes.

A wide and wonderful gamut is represented here, including works inspired by works of literature or students’ artwork, the classic yet fun form of ovillejos, and beautiful translations from the Hindi and Chinese.

eric mayer
Chapter 07: Interview with Outgoing Head of School Eric Mayer

Eric Mayer

Outgoing Head of School

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and member of the Boarding Faculty
new technologies
Chapter 08: Our Life Online | Digital St. Stephen's

Technology for Good

In this online event, we discussed and provided insight into how St.Stephen’s alumni benefit from an adaptive aptitude towards building technologies that truly solve problems, beyond the financial gain.

Chapter 08: Our Life Online | Gaming, Technology

The Wonderful World of Gaming

In gaming, there are several social and emotional advantages.

Although online games are a form of entertainment, with the support and guidance of parents, they can help children develop creativity, cultivate relationships with friends, and improve strategic thinking.

By Francesco Saviotti ‘23
healthy mind
Chapter 09: Sports | Exercise Critical for a Healthy Mind

Why Exercise is Critical for Maintaining a Healthy Mind

Exercise, be it aerobic or anaerobic, is generally perceived as a positive activity to partake in; yet what does the science say when it comes to its effects on mood, mental health, and general well-being?

By Alexander Carbon ‘22
Chapter 09: Sports | Sports Program at School

Sports lens

Enjoy our photo gallery

ice skating
Chapter 09: Sports | Ice Skating is a Passion

The Fire Inside Me

I frequently question what people are passionate about.

And, I mean like insanely in love and an ardent passion towards a sport, music, subject, person, or anything; a kind of passion that lights a fire inside you.

By Clotilde Citrani ‘23
true to myself
Chapter 10: Mental Health | Surrounded yourself with Healthy People

To Thyself Be True

The importance of surrounding yourself with healthy people is knowing you are fine just by yourself if you don’t find them

By Emma LeGalle ‘23
mental health
Chapter 10: Mental Health | Impact on Mental Health, The Pandemic

The Impact of the Pandemic on the Mental Health of Adolescents

Psychologist Erik Erickson in his theory of psychosocial development, posits that between the ages of approximately 12 and 18, adolescents search for a sense of self and personal identity and explore their independence.

By Luisa Nannini - LCSW Health and Wellness Counselor
Chapter 11: Service Tributes | In the Spirit of Service

Supporting the Children of Idjwi

“Providing a meal at school is a simple but concrete way to give poor children a chance to learn and thrive.” WFP

By Dr. Helen Pope - Former St. Stephen’s Teacher and Director of the Dr. Helen Pope Lyceum
Chapter 11: Service Tributes | In the Spirit of Service

The House Whose Name is Love

La Casa di Andrea

By Annie Jacquet - Teacher of French and Supervisor of the Reach Out Student Club /Associazione Andrea Tudisco
Chapter 12: The Arts Collective | Book Corner

The Giver by Lois Lowry

HarperCollins Edition 2014

The novel, The Giver, is a fantasy intended for young audiences. It is an exciting story full of twists and turns. But above all, especially in these times, it pushed me to reflect on the pain brought by war and human brutality.

By Vittoria Giusti ‘22
Chapter 12: The Arts Collective | Book Corner

The Plague by Albert Camus

My English class has been reading and studying the novel The Plague by Albert Camus.

Throughout the book–centered around disease, sickness, and consequent suffering–we observe the plague's ‘chillingly rapid’ progression throughout the city and its psychological, social, and emotional effects on those living through it.

By Benedetta Bosco ‘22
Chapter 12: The Arts Collective | Photography, The Arts, Digital St. Stephen's

Liana Miuccio's Photoclasses

Enjoy our photo gallery

Chapter 12: The Arts Collective | What Students are Watching

Film review: Promising Young Woman (2020)

IMDB Rating: 7.5

‘Can you guess what every woman’s worst nightmare is?’