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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Poems on Character: A Boy's Head by Miroslave Holoub

Holub's poem focuses on the random things that float through a boy's head: a spaceship, a project for doing away with piano lessons, etc. I asked the students to consider the heads of others, like a dog, a baby, a teacher, a scientest. What kind of things do these beings think about?

Mrs. Bunkowski, 3rd grade


Race car drivers
think about winning
life is in danger
do not care about car
passing the flag

Ivan A

A hobo thinks about his wife
and his kids
The thinks about
how he got like this
He thinks about
looking in the trash can
About sleeping under a bridge
About eating from the trash
I wish to give
a hobo a s'more

Mrs Cantu 6/7th grade

Christian G

In my uncles head
There's lots of stuff
Like scary, deadly, bloody movies
He thinks about
Rock and Roll and metal
He thinks about
Drawing scary stuff
He thinks about
Drinking beer and alcohol
He thinks about
Football and soccer
He thinks about
Making fun of people
And those are the things
My uncle is thinking about

Mrs. Salinas, 8th grade

Jesse H

As I sat by the porch
My brain burning like a torch
I asked myself
“Why do my dogs act so crazy?”
Suddenly, they came up to me
and spoke
“If you wish to seek our knowledge,
simply ask”
All of the sudden
Bones of all shapes
And sizes
Popped out
Along with toys
I asked
“Why do you guys
Chase cats?”
“We don’t chase,
We’ve been playing tag
for over a hundred years,
yet we cannot catch them.”
This confused me so,
Yet I was happy

Jasmine W

In the head of a psycho
There’s a master plan
For doing away
With all his enemies

For thnking of how
To steal some drugs
Or thinking about where
He’s going to get money
To get high

In a head of a psycho
He’s worried how he’s
Going to escape, escape to
Somewhere far or just
Thinking about going away

Dying, killing, stealing
For drugs, giving up on life
There’s no one to love
No one to cherish
No one to hug

He’s thinking in his mind
About why his family is gone

An Addict
Raquel S

He sits there with
A needle on the table
Why should I do this
I should not do this
But by that time
His arm is tied up
And a needle
Has pierced his skin
Why did I do this
I hate this!
I can’t stop!
I can’t stop!
Why did I do this!

In the head of a cat
Lance P

The cat is thinking…..
I’m hungry
What does this do
I wanna chase something
I’m gonna jump on the table
Will someone please clean my litter box
I need my claws trimmed
I need to groom
I’m going to be lazy today
I’m going to be hyper today
I want cat nip
Oh, and I want to see
My parents and siblings

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