National-Poetry-Month-AprilOne week before schools closed due to the coronavirus, we wrapped up a poetry unit in my 10th grade English class. Studying poetry in depth is probably my favorite exploration of the school year. Students are so open and honest with their feelings. The work they create is meaningful and complex and, as a teacher, I feel re-energized as I witness students speaking their truth through poetry. With that long haul to spring break (little did I know), we were all in need of some energy. Of course, there was a significant amount of grumbling and eye-rolling when I introduced the poetry exploration. However, during the course of this study, students-even the eye-rollers and grumblers–read and discussed beautiful poems and wrote deeply personal work that I hope they are very proud of.  

At the end of our exploration, students compiled their poetry into a digital portfolio. A few of them are shared with you here. Enjoy!

~Jenni Williams, Teacher, City Neighbors High School~

What It’s Like to be The Unseen Girl (For Those Who Don’t Know), by Jaylen Hall

For starters, it’s not as easy as you think it might be to be unseen or overlooked.

It’s as if you’re in a glass bubble and the only time it’s shattered

 is when others need help or want to copy your work.

It’s being in a void called the unknown,

never being enough 

even though screaming your loudest for help or attention

It’s hearing everything around you,

But not being able to join in the conversation.

It’s not having a loud enough bass in your voice, 

but having a quiet angelic voice.

It’s being drowned out in a sea full of screams, 

even though you’re the loudest.

It’s knowing we aren’t the worst type of people, 

but actually we’re the best.

It’s being zoned out in society, 

trapped in a book watching life go by you.

It’s listening, focusing, drifting on the pages, 

between sentences, 

hiding around every single word on your story

It’s being an unseen girl, in cause you didn’t know

 It’s hiding afraid of what’s ahead of you even though

you’re the most adventurous

It’s taking precautions,

Watching out for the ones who hide you

It’s caring for the ones,

the ones who treat you as if you’re the shadows they cast upon you. 

It’s wanting to be seen, but no matter how hard you try,

you’ll never be seen the way you’d like.

It’s being classified in the unknown species, The Unseen

 

See Jaylen’s complete poetry portfolio: https://sites.google.com/cityneighborshighschool.org/poems-by-the-greastest-of-2022/whats-it-like-to-be-the-unseen-girl

 

Kingdom of Sticks, by Caitlyn McGuire

This is our Kingdom

Down the small hill

Where the three pines grow.

Here we are rulers

Of stick and twig

Our weapons are broken branches

Our noble steeds are our feet.

And on them

We run.

Our jeans are stained

With grass and mud.

Here we seek

Wishes that never end.

We worship and dance in the 

Downpour of rain

Hide to the rumble grumble

Sounds of sky drums.

This place here

Is our Neverland

You’re the Lost Boys

I’m Peter Pan.

See Caitlyn’s complete poetry portfolio: https://sites.google.com/cityneighborshighschool.org/caitlyn-mcguire-digital-poetry/home

 

Childhood Love, By Noel Flournoy

Childhood Love was a dream from reality

Love like coming home to a brand new toy

Playing with it, home was the place to be

The toy never got old just like the boy

Elementary school honed kiddie love

It taught us that love was a simple word

That love that would never fall off the glove

The feeling of being light, just like a bird

Time was a watch that never stopped ticking

The watch on your wrist made time yours to keep

As time went on you noticed you’re growing

As you look back on it you laugh and not weep

Because love was as young as your little heart

You both grew old but we’re never apart

See Noel’s complete poetry portfolio here: Noel’s Poem Portfolio