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 Narrative: Annibelle Lee by Edgar Allen Poe

An oral tradition, narrative poems tell great stories of love, and war, and legends. We read Poe's love/grief stricken poem and I passed out headlines cut from the newspaper. The students wrote their own narrative poem based on the headline they drew from my bag.

Mrs. Bunkowski, Grade 3

Veronica M

If It’s No The Pickpockets, It’s the Killer Ants

Every person lost their things
People thought it was the pickpockets
They were not sure
So they looked closely
But nothing
People took their pants
Their purses
To the scientists
Scientists were so smart
The scientists were looking for fingerprints
But they found tiny, small, footprints
It was tiny, small.
Smell like killer ants
Scientists were so worried
Because killer ants bite
And if they bite you
You can turn into a killer ant, too.
Three days later people
Or, should I say ANTS
Killer Ants came
So worried that all the people on Earth
Were not people anymore
People were ants
No more people
And then a big noise
Appeared louder and louder
A little girl
Turned off her alarm
And it was just a dream

Eddie O

He Can’t Stop Looking Over His Shoulder

I am so mad
Because I don’t like
Her looking over my shoulder
It is annoying
I would like her to go away
And I will be happy
When she goes away
Oh no! She came back
Now I am mad
Now I hope she doesn’t come back
Because it makes me mad
When somebody looks
Over my shoulder

Vivian M

A True Outsider

A true outsider has a dream
But it has to have a stem
A true outsider
Can have an idea
To do a poem
Like a dream
But a true outsider
Can sometimes be quiet

Fernando S

Did He Or Didn’t He?

Did he read my book
Or did he look at my picture
Or didn’t he?
Did he get grounded
Or did he slap me
Or am I just dreaming
Or did I…
Was it a dream?
My mom
Did she have another baby
Or didn’t she?

Edgar R

The Secret Of Shalloboi

Shalloboi everyone is asking
What is shalloboi?
I say hobo’s
There’s a secret to the hobo’s
Some say they are poor
Some say there’s no more
Hope for them
But I discovered their rich.
When they dirty their clothes
They wear it on the streets
So they could get some extra cash
They’re injured because they
Had an accident
So that’s the secret of shalloboi

Mrs. Cantu/Mrs. Rawls Grade 6/7

Fabian J

Placing my bets
What I bet
I’ll never forget
I lost my fortune
To my friend Gordon
My house, my cars and all
I know I can’t fall
Deeper into bad luch
I was a drunk duck
7 beers and whine
I paid a fine
53 million
I thought I could’ve won
But I lost
Now I hat black jack
And even shot Jack Black
I can’t believe
Poor and in jail
There’s no deeper Than a jail cell

Daniel M

He Can’t Stop Looking Over His Shoulder

Did he commit a murder?
I think so
I’ve been sitting here
For quite some time
Call some back up
That man just can’t stop
Looking over his shoulder
He looks suspicious
I’ll follow him
Every step of the way
To see where he’ll lead me
He can’t stop
Looking over his shoulder
I think he committed a murder
He looks very suspicious
And looking right at me
I think I should do something
To see what’s going on
I should question him
Man oh man
He looks so very suspicious
Minute by minute
Hour by hour
That man keeps looking
Over his shoulder
The next day
He got away
And for me to find out
He committed a murder
To be continued….

Juan R

Welcome To The Darkside

Welcome to the darkside
Where there is a lot
Of nightmares
And there’s a lot
Of death
Where you could die
For a lie
And where you could
Die for a death

Mario C

$320 Million To Burn, But There’s A Catch

It was Feb 14, 2008
In a store by my street
There clerk said
I won $320 million
But there’s a catch
He said I have to
Run with no clothes on
I didn’t want to be embarrassed
In that store by my street

Carlos A

To Pull A Thorn From The Side Of The Planet

To pull a thorn
From the side of the planet
Is like a bomb
And pulling the ring
And you
Blowing into a million pieces
In the air
Floating in space
For years and years
My love waiting
For all those years
Knowing I would
Never see her again
I know she is thinking about me
And my million pieces
Were thinking about her
Aliens found me
They put my body back
And send me back to Earth
When I went looking
For my love
She was with another man
I felt like
A million pieces again

Fernando G

A True Outsider

A true outsider
Is like a stick of apple cider
A true outsider
Wouldn’t hide herself
She tries to cover herself
With fur
It’s all over her shirt
She doesn’t want to get hurt
A true outsider
Stays away from the insiders of the world

Mrs. Salinas, Grade 8

Angelica R

Local Girlfriend Always?

Finds her boyfriend cheating
She yells and cries,
And forgives him
She’s heartbroken
Her boyfriend leaves
Her for another woman
She’s devastated
And can’t take
Anymore sadness
She decides to go to the park
She stays there til dusk and…
Sweet sweet girlfriend
Never to be seen again
Who might know
What really happened for sure
We’ll never know the truth

Lance P

The Beach Party Moves Indoors

The beach party moves indoors
Why go to the beach
When I can bring the beach to us
We can have a beach party
In my house
I will order a sand truck
And flood the house with water
My parents are out of town
Until next week
The house is flooded
With water and sand
I don’t know how
I’m going to clean it up
We were partying
The day away
My parents walk in
I’m busted
I thought I was in big trouble
But my parents joined the party

Ricardo Z

Te despido por faltarme al respeto I
Y por no benir atrabajar sin permiso a faltar
Te despido por que
Una de mis cameras
Te grabaron cuando
Estabas buscando problemas
Y el otro dia
Te miro una camera
Cuando estabas robando

I fire you for being disrespectful
And for not showing up to work
Without permission
I fire you because
One of my cameras
Taped you when
You were looking for problems
And the other day
The camera saw you steal

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