About Hands on Stanzas

Hands on Stanzas, the educational outreach program of the Poetry Center of Chicago places professional, teaching Poets in residence at Chicago Public Schools across the city. Poets teach the reading, discussion, and writing of poetry to 3 classes over the course of 20 classroom visits, typically from October through April. Students improve their reading, writing, and public speaking skills, and participating teachers report improved motivation and academic confidence. You can contact Cassie Sparkman, Director of the Hands on Stanzas program, by phone: 312.629.1665 or by email: csparkman(at)poetrycenter.org for more information.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Poems of Apology: This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams

We are often made to feel like we should be sorry for something we've done, especially children. They sometimes apologize because they are told to, not because they feel bad about what they have done. The students enjoyed this lesson so much that many of them wrote several confessioinal apology poems!

Grade 3

I’m sorry for
Jumping on the
Which you were
Probably going
To clean tomorrow
But I’m not that sorry
Because it’s
So much fun

Edgar R
Grade 3

I have called
Jovany a pimple face
He probably felt
Really mad

Sorry, I can’t
Tell lies if he
Really has pimples

Fernando S
Grade 3

I am sorry
Because I
Put on a mask
And I put
Blood on my face
And I put
On a cap
And I scared
My sister
And it was
So funny
And I think I am
Going to
Do a trap
And put water
In a bucket

Aileen J
Grade 3

I am sorry
To my brother
I open my
Brothers room
When my brother
Was sleeping
I get his money
He had $52.59
I went to the store

Freddy L
Grade 6

She got on my nerves
She kept on doing it
I hit her
I said sorry to her
But I really didn’t
Mean it

Christian E
Grade 6

When I was hiding
From my sister
All the lights were off
She was looking
For me
But she didn't find me
Then I came out
And screamed at her
Then she started
Crying so I
Had to say
But I told her
Then she started

Andrea B
Grade 6

I am sorry that I
Broke the chair

I am happy that I
Fixed it
I am happy that I
Told Luis to sit on it
I am happy that he
Fell down

So what I am saying is
Forgive me Luis
For doing this to you
Even if I loved it
And laughed my head off
And you stopped talking
On the phone

Christian G
Grade 7

I never felt it
Never saw it

I never want to feel it
I never want to see it

But I heard it
Hurts and when

It comes out your
Life changes and it will

What I heard is that
You push with

All your might first
You don't feel it, but

Then it comes so bad
it hurts so bad

But it's all worth it
It comes

And you feel good
Because it's your baby

Jessica Y
Grade 7

I am not sorry
For hitting my sister
I am sorry for disobeying
My mom
By hitting my sister
Although it feels great
Hitting them
I should not disobey
My mom
Because it might
Break her heart

Alondra G
Grade 7

I hit you
On the face
With a big heavy ball
Forgive me very much
It was very
Funny looking
At you and
Your big purple funny

Jasmine Washington
Grade 8

I am sorry for tha….
I have slapped
Your daughter
My hand

Her face turned
Red slightly
She held her
Tears back

Forgive me
She looked so
Sad her
Face was
Cherry red

Jovany C
Grade 8

I’m sorry for
Breaking the window
But I was
Playing outside
If you opened the window
It wouldn’t be cracked
Sorry for breaking
The dumb window

Poems about Color: Voyelles by Rimbaud

This was a really fun lesson! I brought in paint sample cards from Home Depot and passed them out to the class. We had a good time reading the names of colors such as "peanut butter," "carrot," "peacock feathers," "mermaid treasure," and my personal favorite, "squirrel." After reading the poem, we discussed the unusual ways Rimbaud described color and how he assigned colors to something that doesn't visually exist. The students wrote poems in which they chose to describe the colors of things like letters, numbers, feelings, months, days of the week, or school subjects in an interesting way.

Giselle R
Grade 3

Spring is for the color gray
Of cloudy

Summer is for color blue
Of sky and lake

Fall is for color orange
Of the plants and trees

Winter is for color white
Of the snow

Ethan Ramos
Grade 3

The color of July is blue as the sky
The color of September is as red as the apple
The color of January is white as the snow
The color of march is green as the grass
The color of February is pink as the heart
The color of October is orange as the jack-o-lantern
The color of april is red as the rose

Alize V.
Grade 3

October is as black
As a spider in the shade
To have your heart
Torn in two
To be in the blackest place

June, being in June
Is as blue as tears
On the ground
A blue pond is June
Or maybe
A Midway Academy shirt

November is
As white as hearts
Thursday in November
Is very white
Or a white sundae ice cream

Mirella R
Grade 6

Sad is like as blue
As the blue sky

Mad is as red
As red lipstick

Joyful is like bright yellow
As the yellow sun

Confused is as gray
As a gray quarter

Sick is as green
As the green grass

Happiness is as pink
As the pink in a rainbow

Jose L
Grade 6

Saturday I think
Of the color red
Like fire
Monday I think
Is for gray
Because it is boring
I think of Wednesday
I think of sad
Like white clouds
I think of Friday
Like green as grass

Ruth C
Grade 6

January- white
Tiny ball
Falling down the sky

February- Red
Big heart over me
With a message
That someone loves me

March- Blue
I’m in the ocean
With white birds flying
I’m with the person I love

April- pink
Thinking about Easter
Pink bunnies
Running with me

May- yellow
I’m thinking day 29
Thinking in my father
And sister
At the same time

June- purple
Watching spongebob
With a jelly sandwhich

July- green
Like the tree
Flying in the sky

Bianca N
Grade 7

A is for green
For Christmas
Because Christmas
Has green trees

E is for white
For Easter
Because the bunny
Is white

I is for red
For Valentines day
Because it is love

U is for black
For Halloween
Because it is night

O is for yellow
For Thanksgiving
Because it is bright

Tony V
Grade 7

Monday: Gloomy, dark street lights
Lighting up the sky
Dark gray for laziness and tiredness

Tuesday: Dark green for the trees
And the leaves
The afternoon still green
Because of the green lights on the street

Wednesday: Yellow because of the sun
And the buses
Happiness is also yellow
Because it’s close to the weekend

Thursday: Black because
Of the madness in my eyes
Can’t wait til it hits Friday

Friday: Orange, bright, happy, exciting
Out of school
And in with the fun

Carlos A
Grade 7

Monday’s are gray
Because we are starting the week
I feel like the sky is dry
And it has not rained for days

Tuesday’s are blue
Because the birds are chirping
And the sky is baby blue
The dogs are barking
At the people

Friday’s are yellow to me
Because I wake up happy
It is the last day of school
I get two days off
Friday is yellow
Because I get to play
With my friends
When I get home from school

Saturday is red
Because my mom
Cooks breakfast
Happy Happy red
Gets up in the morning
And sees cartoons

Alexis C
Grade 8

The number 16
Reminds me of green
Like when trees move
With the air
And green grass fields

The month of December
Reminds me of white
Because it gets cold
And snow falls

The day Friday
Is a bright color
Like orange or yellow
Because it’s a happy day
And a brighter sunshine
In the sky

Angelica R
Grade 8

August- Baby blue
Like the sky
On a nice early
Summer morning.
And green
Like watered grass

24- the special day
of a happy girl
nice light pink
and black like balloons
there’s going to be
on my birthday
pink like a beautiful
freshly picked rose
and black
like the dim lights
of sadness

14- the age of a girl
pink like hello kitty’s color
and a favorite color
of a happy
cheerful girl
a dozen roses
of my favorite color