By Jessica Crawford, 7th Grade Teacher
On the eve of May Day, the 7th grade students shared their poetry with their parents and teachers at a Zoom Poetry Reading Evening. The students were very poised and presented their work beautifully—both a poem by one of the poets they’d studied over the course of the Creative Writing: Poetry block, and their own original poems. They created cafe settings at home with flowers and special drinks, and dressed up for the occasion. They wrote about nature, inspired by Mary Oliver and Emily Dickinson’s keen powers of observation. They wrote about their inner wishes and dreams, especially needed in this strange time of outer restrictions. They wrote about the wonders of spring, focusing on its very first signs. They also wrote a few tiny but mighty haiku poems, for which the Japanese Matsuo Basho is so famous—about any subject they wished, making every word count.
The adolescent’s many blooming capacities allow them to harness the transformative power of words for not only expressing their inner feelings and thoughts, but for directing their creative energies toward positive change in the world around them. The students pondered e.e. cummings’ mantra, “Trust thyself!”, and his challenge to young people to look within and rely on their feelings to learn who they are and what they are meant to do—rather than to succumb to society’s pressures to become something or someone expected and already written. We ended with Penelope’s May Day poem, a heartfelt yearning to be together, be joyful, and to celebrate the coming of spring! Here are some of their original poems:
Haiku poems by Svea:
Barefoot on the grass,
Staring out across the lake,
Night falling slowly.
I watch my chicken
As she gobbles up a snake –
Yum a live noodle!
Haiku by Molly:
Bottles on a shelf,
Sun shining through, reflecting
Pink yellow and blue.
Haiku from Lukas:
The honey biscuit
Rises in the oven, crackling,
Drizzled with butter.
An Unconventional Sign of Spring
I know that spring is coming
When my cat brings home
A mangled rabbit carcass
And we shut him inside until August.
Warmth spreads through me,
Cool water is a pleasure,
Brave flowers poking up and out.
Then winter pulls out its ace
And cloaks the world in snowy white,
Flowers are pushed back.
Then the bravest of the flower folk
Go out to greet the day.
How nice it is to awaken
To a world of wonder!
Jumping out the door
Into the pleasant cool air
I can feel that it’s spring.
Not from the smell
Or the sight of green grass,
But because I can sense it
Deep in my soul.
It makes me jittery with excitement
And puts goosebumps on my skin.
For when I step outside
The possibilities are endless.
When the Shelter-in-place Ends
When the shelter in place ends
Don’t you worry, we will meet again.
See one another at school and say hi,
And the whole community will put on a play.
And even though sometimes people will get injured
Because they are not careful where they go or look,
And it’s difficult to not skip a line.
It’s hard to be on stage,
But we can talk to each other, all of us.
Happy to hear the voices singing and laughing,
When the shelter in place ends