Thursday, April 19, 2018

More Student Poetry

Today I have a variety of poems from my seventh grade students.  We had been writing Golden Shovel Poems,  Pantoums, and Free Verse.  For some of them poetry is very difficult.  I am very proud of all of my students. They were definitely risk-takers by putting their writing out there for all to see. For some of my students you can feel their pain.  When they tell me their writing isn't good, I tell them that when they write from their soul it can't be anything but good. Here are a few examples.

All of us remember summer days like the one Emma describes here.

Swimming by Emma J.

Jumping in the pool is fun
Splashing with friends
after a long hot day
the water cools you off

You splash and play all day
You throw water balloons
some may slip and fall
But they get back up

You spray them down with water guns
They spray you back
you're laughing and smiling
Your parents are relaxing to

The sun starts setting
that doesn't stop you
through the night
you laugh and play

A simple Pantoum that has such a deep message in it.

Why Me? by Barbara  Vance

If you were to ask Why me?
When you're feeling really blue,
When the world has turned against you
And you don't know what to do
When it pours colossal raindrops
And you're feeling more confused
Then  you ever cold express

                   Raindrops by Aryianna A.
                Do you know that feeling when 
                                          you don't feel it
                   anymore and it starts to pours
                          Your headache is colossal
and your little thoughts are like raindrops

Knowing the story behind this I could feel the pain and wanted to cry with this child.

Mommy by Jasmine M.
Goodbye mommy
three years old
not ready to go
tears roll down.

Three years old
as I leave for good
tears roll down
I shall hug you goodbye

As I leave for good
no ready to go
I shall hug you goodbye
Goodbye mommy

This student described through her poem an accident she was involved in when she was younger.

The Accident by Jasmine M.
Boom, Crash, Sam
No glass, no blood
Sleep is all there wwa
Awoke I did in the hospital bed.

No glass, no blood
Scared I was
Awoke I did in the hospital bed
Crying and unable to move

Scared I was
Sleep is all there was
Crying and unable to move
Boom, Crash, Slam

Be Careful by Amari C.

My heart is like a package with a fragile label on it
be careful with me
I love you
can't you see

Be careful with me
love is patient
Can't you see
like the rhythm of the sea

Love is patient
I love you
Like the rhythm of the sea
My heart is like a package with a fragile label on it.

By using repetition  of the phrase "Where is she" we get the sense of panic this child felt.

My Aunt by Amari C

Where is she
She was suppose to be here at two
It's been way too long
She's never late

She was supposed to be here at two
Somebody get the phone
She's never late
We're going to the hospital, she had a stroke

Somebody get the phone
It's been way too long
We're going to the hospital, she had a stroke
Where is she

Here is another Golden Shovel Poem
The Little Girl's Land by Emmeline Francis

Not so long ago
In a land closer than it seems
There lived a silly little girl
With a pocketful of dreams

She was as hated as was loved
It didn't matter what she'd one
But the one thing that she knew

Too fat and too ugly
Too judgmental and a fool
She could never be just perfect
And society was cruel

It carried on for years
and nobody could decide
Whether this silly little gilr
Should get to live or die

So the leader told his people
That something must be done
And the poor thing should be dealt with
So it couldn't hurt anyone

At first there was denial
But the umber quickly bloated
Soon even the voice of mother
Left the situation quite outvoted

But when asked who would do it?
As the people shouted blame
Not a single one would volunteer
And hung their heads in shame

A tiny voice right from the back
Suppressed by a nation's shouts
Announced that she could do it
No longer harboring any doubts.

Every single citizen watched
As a blade was drawn with care
The girl aligned it to the heart
To breathe she didn't dare

Instantly her dull eyes closed
A single push was done
Hushed whispers silenced throughout the land
Watching her smiling tear drops run

When mother found her in the morn
Dried tears still on her face
She knew with greatest certainty
She was not in a better place.

How hopeless she was lying there
With blood on the bedroom floor
The only thing to take comfort in
They couldn't hurt her anymore

Mother watched the coffin
Now the girl was quite stone dead
Such a pity, society sighed
That the land was within her head.

Take heed of this done story
For the many who ruin themsleves
Though words might seem so innocent
Our worst critics are ourselves

The Girl That Wasn't Loved as Much by Shaina S.

There once was a girl. She 
didn't fit in. She was
always being picked on. She felt hated
a lot. As
this kept going on she was as well love.

As she was hated people said too
revolting or too fat
Things like you're too petty and 
big to be sitting with us , or you're too
nasty, they said, you're too ugly.

This girl felt like she 
had no one there for, or that she could 
not count on anyone. Never
Be great. She could never be
good enough or just 
like the rest. She could never be perfect.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pantoum Poems

In the Dark by Deeya B.

I was alone in the dark,
With nowhere to go,
No one to hold
And no place to call home.

With nowhere to go,
I was stuck on repeat
And no place to call home
I felt defeat.

I was stuck on repeat
And weeping alone
I felt defeat
Knowing no one would love me again.

And weeping alone,
No one to hold,
Knowing no one would love me again.
I was alone in the dark.

Life Is a Small Grape by Joshua P.

Life is short, but long
a ripe grape
A grape that is full of flavor
A single whisker in a pile of fur

A ripe grape
A fruit of importance
A single whisker in a pile of fur
A small grape

A fruit of importance
A helpless grape
A Tiny grape
A shriveling grape

A helpless grape
A grape that was full of flavor
A shriveling grape
Life is long, but short

Living With Butterflies by Natalia M.

I live with butterflies
They flutter and dance
Beautiful face to face, but hideous when locked inside
They linger

They flutter and dance
Nausea and dizziness
They linger
Butterflies don't go away

Nausea and dizziness
They come out of nowhere
Butterflies don't go away
They are trapped with no escape

They come out of nowhere
Beautiful face to face, but hideous when locked inside
They are trapped with no escape
I live with butterflies

Walking Through the Forest by Jonathan X.

A bird is singing a sweet tune
As I traverse the dim forest
The plants' leaves hang low under the weight of cocoons,
My ears are filled with the sound of nature's chorus.

As I traverse the dim forest,
I feel grass tickling my feet,
My ears are filled with the sound of nature's chorus
And I march to the beat.

I feel grass tickling my feet
While I gorge on the forest's bounty
And I march to the beat
Of the beauty all around me

While I gorge on nature's bounty
The plants' leaves hang low under the weight of cocoons
Of the beauty all around me
A bird is singing a sweet tune.

Golden Shovel Poems

This is called Golden Shovel Poetry. You take a poem you like that has meaning to you and you choose one or more lines from the original poem. You write the words down the right side of your paper and then add words in front of them to create a new poem.  Below is one that I wrote.  Nikki Grimes does this a lot. You can find it in her book One Last Word. This is a book of poetry inspired by the Harlem Renaissance.  She also has one in the book where she used the entire poem Mother to Son by Langston Hughes.  I am having my students create one of these using a poem of their choice. After all it is National Poetry Month.  On the left side you will find the original poem, or if it is too long, an excerpt. On the right side you will find the poetry written from it by my students.

NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY                                                                      
By Robert Frost                                                                                                

Nature’s first green is gold,                                                                                 
Her hardest hue to hold.                                                         
Her early leaf’s a flower;                                                              
But only so an hour.                                                                                   
Then leaf subsides to leaf. Gold                                                                     
So Eden sank to grief,                                                             
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.

Embrace Life by Sandra Stiles

Life is short so
embrace it. Get up with the Dawn
and see where your day goes.
Will it take you down
memory lane, or to 
a new adventure for another day?

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.  
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Speak Out by Abigail Rudolph

I am warning you. Do
not tell me to be quiet. Do not
tell me to sit down and behave like you want me to. Go
on. I dare you to tell me to be gentle
with my words and actions. Tell me to keep all my rage and passion in
my head. Tell me to
ignore the storm in my head that
begs me to scream. To stand up. To speak out against the "good"
rules that you have designed to hold me back. I will fight all through the night.

I will rage
against you. I will speak out against the rage
you have cast upon me to make me silent. Never again! I will speak against
the mold you have set out for me. Against the
rules that bind me. I will rage until my dying
days. I will speak of
truth and freedom. I will speak of the

hope of love and light.

     Bullying Poem  author unknown

           You may think you’re cool coz you call me names,
       And you may think I’m hurting inside.
      You may even choose to get nasty,
      But do you really think I’m going to hide?

2     Lots of people look up to you,
 They’re scared if they don’t you’ll turn sour.
 I bet half of them think you’re a bully,
 But when you speak to them, they just cower.

         You have everybody below you,
 Obeying your every demand.
 But if somebody bigger came along
 You would bury your head in the sand.

4       You’re not just a bully, but a coward,
 Who’s jealous of people like me.
 Am I really as bad as you make me feel,
 Or the person who you want to be?

      I know I can talk to my teachers,
My parents, family, and friends
To tell them how you make me feel,
Please let this bullying end.

          Did You Know by Kelly M.   

                                Did you know you’re   
                                 Amazing, you’re not   
             Only smart and funny, you’re just   
                                          A nice person, a   
      Kind person, you’d stand up to a bully,   
                        You’d do it for anyone, But   
               You wouldn’t be rude, you’d be  
                          person to remind a coward   
                      To be brave, or a bully who’s   
                    helpful and sweet, how jealous   
                                            one might be of   
                          your greatness, how people   
                            might wish they were like   

                                   you, people like me.   

I Am the People, the Mob  by Carl Sandburg    

    am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
    Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
    I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes.
    I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns.
    They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
    I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass
    over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death
    comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
    Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember.
    Then—I forget.
    When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and
    no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool—then there will be
    no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his
    voice or any far-off smile of derision.
    The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.

                                   I Am by Alicea S.     

                            Do you know what I     
                               Do? Or who I am?     
         Do you know that I work for the     
                              Of my “kind”? The     
                                   People, The mob     
                                       I’m part of the     
                                mob and the crowd     
                                                  I am the     


     Ultimately – Khai Dreams
     [verse 3]

     Ultimately it’s a beautiful thing
     Like flowers blooming in a lonely field
     The petals drift through crossing winds
     They find their way to rivers, streams
     That scent the water beautifully. It takes me back to you
     It takes me back to you.

                     That Scent by Tuyen L.     

         The sweet flower that is you. That     
                                         Creates your scent     
    That enraptures me. For a love of the     
                       Forest can flood my waters     
 With boats of love and care. Beautifully     
  Weaving a future anew. For our love, it     
                                                        A lifetime for me     
                                            To find my way back     
                                                                              Back to     
                                              The one I miss, you.     

     A Short Little Poem with Meaning by Frederick                                                                                           
     The hardest part of letting go                             
     Is to forgive that I know                                                  
     The best gift you will receive                            
     Is the chance to believe                                                                                        
     The easiest thing you’ll ever do                                                             
     Is distinguishing the lie from truth                     
     And in this all
     Don’t ever forget
     Live ur life
     With no regret!
Waves of Diversity by Mallory S.     

Whether we are friend or foe the     
differences are the hardest     
mountain to climb, unless we part     
 the waves of     
diversity. Letting     
ourselves shine wherever we go.     

     Excerpt from The Tyger by William Blake  

     Tyger, Tyger burning bright,                             
     In the forests of the night,
     What immortal hand or eye                             
     Could frame thy fearful symmetry

 Burn Bright Tyger by Madison B.     
You’re different, so stand tall like a tyger     
     People don’t want you to? Well, you’re a tyger,     
     You are fierce and precious, you are burning     
      In their darkness. Be bright,     
      Like yourself. You are the brilliant star in         
     The shadows. They are the     
     Ones at fault, shunning your light. Dark Forests     
Have that beautiful bioluminescence, that’s you, child of     
    Starlight. Be strong, be brave, be you, in the     
     Darkness. You are a star, brighten the night.     

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Reverse Golden Shovel Poems

Reverse Golden Shovel Poems

I am not sure there is such a thing as a Reverse Golden Shovel Poem. A Golden Shovel poem works like this: You take a poem you like and copy it down. You choose one or more lines you like and write those words down the right hand side of the page. Then you create your own poem making sure the words you wrote down the right hand side are the last words in the line. Notice I didn’t say sentence. I was trying to do that and couldn’t get it to work. When you need to learn something you go to the source. So I got in touch with Helen Frost who advised me to get Nikki Grime’s book “One Last Word”. It is full of Golden Shovel Poems.

I will post the golden shovel poems tomorrow on the blog. Today I had students take one of the following quotes and write it down the left side of their paper and create a poem from it.  I told them it is like a cross between an acrostic and a golden shovel poem.  So enjoy my students’ work.

Here are the two quotes I gave them:

“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.” – James E Faust

Honesty Shapes Humanity by Natalia M.

Honesty creates trust and hope. It
Is what holds together a family, a friendship. It is
More than just what is true. It is more powerful
Than the strongest of men. It defeats secrecy, not abundant but still there, it lives in us all.
Lying is an escape.
 It helps some to cope with a fear of being hones.
Is this how we choose to live?
Truth opens door o friendships and learning. 
Telling the truth gets you through those doors.
Truth is what is genuine. What is real.
Speaking it relieves pain.
Truth is the instant antidote.
Living it sets you free
And guides you ona path to a beautiful future.
Truth can hurt, but that can change when you learn to be 
loving understanding and kind.

Honesty by Sam M.

Honesty is important in life and so
Is treating people with kindness, with
More kindness in the world there are more smiles 
than frowns.
Not interrupting when somebody is speaking is polite.
Lying when you do something bad is naughty,
It is dishonest and it
Is better to tell the
Truth. Simple things like
Telling somebody “you look nice today.” Can lift people’s spirits. The
Truth is it’s not very hard to be nice. When
Speaking to adults just remember to include yes mam and yes sir. The
Truth is, it’s not very hard to be kind. If you’re
Living life like it’s your last day on earth, there’s no time to be mean
And rude to the people around you. Telling the
Truth, being kind, nice, polite, and
Loving are the easiest ways to make a difference in the world.

Honesty is Powerful by David I.

Honesty is powerful. It
Is what
More leaders lack
Then we would like to think. It is
Not something everyone is born with, but
Lying is quite the same.
It is what makes the strong, strong. It
Is what cements trust. The
Truth is more powerful than guns, as
Telling the truth could end all wars. The
Truth is
Speaking out when no one else will. The
Truth is claiming responsibility, no matter the consequences.
Living cannot be done without honesty
And hate cannot exist without distrust. The
Truth can unite us as
Loving unites a family.

Honesty Is by Sam M.

Honesty is what everyone needs in this world. Honesty
Is the most incredible ting on earth. Honesty is
More than just a simple word or phrase. Honesty is much, much more
Than what many think it means. Honesty is
Not a way of getting out of trouble, it is a way of solving trouble.
Lying is when you don’t want to tell the truth because you are afraid. But honesty,
It is a supernatural force that brings light into darkness, hope where there is none. Honesty
Is a force that is essential to life. Honesty is the purest form of
Truth, but it is more than just sticking to the facts. Honesty can move mountains. It is
telling your opinion on something with confidence and security. Honesty is
truth in its most powerful form. Honesty is
speaking out rather than speaking inside. Honesty is not simply the
truth. Honesty is a force that breathes hpe into dead things to bring them back to the
living. Honesty is the true victor in the run of life. On
and on honesty goes, saving millions from the shackles of torment. Honesty is the
truth that is wholesome and pure, with no mistakes. Honesty is
loving the world and taking it for what it is. Honesty is what we all need.

Honesty by Ruth A.

Honesty is the best policy they say but
Is it
More than just a saying, more
Than words itself? But
Not actually doing it, yet
Lying about something you did
It can cause pain. But
Is it all the
Truth not just pain but being lied to.
Telling yourself it’s going to be okay, when the
Truth is you don’t know, you try to
Speak about it but the lie comes out not the
Truth. It’s hard to imagine because you’re
Living it not dreaming it,
And the honest
Truth is nobody knows if it’s true or not so you just  keep
Loving until it’s gone.

The Way the World Works by Elizabeth D.

Honesty creates your image. It
Is the difference between good and bad It gets 
more lost every day. It is worth more
Than anything else. It only takes one to
Not be trusted.
Lying makes you the other person.
It can destroy relationships. It
Is the key to happiness.
Truth should run the country instead
Telling lies do. The
Truth is, people don’t care about
Speaking the truth. The
Truth can be too hard to admit.
Living in lies becomes easier
And that is the way of the world.
Truth can be the difference between loving and hating each other.

“Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Elie Wiesel

Power by Elizabeth D.

Silence is what
The power form the 
tormentor. That is what allows them to
Never become

Silence by Phillip S.

Encourages the fear of the unknown.
The silence of apathy can help the
Tormentor escape but
Never free the tormented.
The ones who’ve shown no sound not only hurt the
Tormented but soon enough they become one of them.

Ignorance by Nirian L.

Silence fuels the ignorant. It
Encourages the sinister thoughts of those who inflict
The pain that they have had onto others. The
Tormentor dehumanizing all they choose to not accept
Never understanding what’s truly right and what’s wrong.
The fabrications they formed in order to cope with their own problems. The
Tormented never escaping the imprisonment set upon them.

Night Thoughts  by Ingrid P.

Silence at night in the lonely dark, is what
Encourages my thoughts to come at me.
The thoughts that I try to keep away. He is the
Tormentor of my mind. He is
Never around wen there is light, but
The slightest bit of darkness makes him appear, making me the
Tormented soul.

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