Poems to Compliments

Rachel Farhoudi, Features Writer

When I was little, my grandparents would read me a particular poem each time I visited them: “I Know Something Good About You” by Louis C. Schimon. We would cozy up in front of the fire and they’d recite the words to me as though sharing intimate advice. Even as a child, something in the poem resonated with me and the words of the poem have stayed with me over the years. The poem imagines a world where people treat one another kinder because of the good things they’ve overheard about them. Here are some of my favorite stanzas from the poem:


Wouldn’t this old world be better

If the folks we meet would say –

“I know something good about you!”

And treat us just that way?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy

If the good that’s in us all

Were the only thing about us

That folks bothered to recall?

Wouldn’t it be nice to practice

That fine way of thinking, too?

You know something good about me;

I know something good about you.


With these words in mind, I decided to go around Pinewood Upper Campus and ask high school students to throw out anonymous compliments to a classmate or teacher. Below is a collection of some of the kind things people said. 


Luisa and Betti are on JV basketball with me and they are always super cheerful both in and outside of practices.”


Sally is always kind to people and puts her best into everything that she does, especially SLC.”


Juliette is super nice in class and always helps me with my homework.”


“I think that Owen Taylor is the coolest kid in all of upper campus!”


Sophia Rosen always makes an effort to ask me how I am doing and is really easy to have a conversation with.”


Lara Parikh is the sweetest person, and I always see her being nice to everybody.”


Caroline Blotter has a quiet confidence about her and she seems like a really good friend to people.”


Lacey is super fun and always gets other people in on the fun too.”


James Chang is a great mentor in class. He stays patient with me and is understanding. He is a great basketball player and teammate, and I think he is going to be a great asset to Pinewood basketball.”


Kate Cornyn always brightens my day. Everytime I see her in the hall she waves to me and starts a conversation.”


Ms. Hudson always prioritizes our thinking and wellbeing. She makes me feel like I am valued as a member of her class.”