On the heels of Langston Hughes’ birthday, I thought we would revisit his work. I brought in two poems about dreams: One, Hughes’ The Dream Keeper and Christina Rosetti’s Mirage. We read the two poems that discuss dreams in different manners. The students defined dreams, the types of dreams all we have, in their own words, using words like imagination, visualization and goals. We differentiated “sleep dreams” and “wake dreams” and discussed two formal definitions of both, the first being a series of thoughts, images and sensations occurring in one’s mind during sleep and the other, to contemplate the possibility of doing something or something that might be the case. The students identified which poem referenced which type of dream. Hughes, dealing with life and one’s aspirations and the need to keep them protected from the world and Rosetti’s somewhat a combination of both, stating that a dream she has during sleep, had the power to change her life and her outlook on the world. We see that one’s dreams have the power to change the world just as the world has the power to change one’s dreams.
The task was to write either a letter poem to their adult selves. I asked them all to consider, “What do you want to tell your future self about the dreams about life that you have today?” Also, if a student identified him/herself as a person who remembers his/her dreams, then he/she could write a poem about a sleep dream he/she has had. Some wrote about magical dream lands where we float on clouds made of candy, or places where more practical versions of the impossible happen, like you are with your grandmother again…
While the 8th graders were given the freedom in approaching form, I asked 6th graders to write in the same form that Rossetti uses in Mirage, where stanza one is a quatrain, stanza two is a tercet and stanza three is a final quatrain. My they seemed to really take to this challenge with a new kind of focus. Ms. Dydo and I were very pleased with the results. I am not sure if I can attribute this spark of inspiration to this fact, but this week, each of the 6th graders presented is making his/her debut to the HOS blog, and I am very proud of them all. Please enjoy, and…dream on.
A dream, it’s an image
Something you have seen
or have never seen
Like fictional animals
Even a story that hasn’t been told
Dreams are stories you make
nor thinking beforehand
You can’t really predict your dream
Loved one that have died
Then you have bad dreams
You can’t predict when they happen
Nightmares are things you don’t want
It can be scary
things you don’t want to happen
The unpredicted can be scary
as well as the predict
The Future Mia
Dear Future Mia,
I want you to know to follow
your dreams, and go the
extra mile. I already
know you’re going to
college. Remember to stay
focused and that you
got this. The sky is the
limit. You can only get
better. Any problems you
face are not to harm you,
but to make you better.
One of the dreams I had was when
I had a super power and the super
power was ice. I sensed a couple of
bad guys getting away from the
police and I was the only one to
stop them. I forgot to mention I can
fly too. With my fancy ice shoes.
It took me about 3 minutes to catch
up with them. One of their names
was Tim and the other was Jim. They
ran so slow a 3 year old passed them.
I was laughing so hard I almost fell.
I couldn’t tell if they dropped
the money, but it sure was funny.
I finally caught up with them
high off the ground they was so
shocked at what they had found.
I froze them immediately and
returned the money and now I
should go because I look so stunning
Dear Kayonna, January 27, 2032
If you ever heard your dream from your mouth, you would be like, “What!?” “Kids dream about stuff like this!?”
Wow! I wonder what I dream about now, is it funny, is it crazy, is it bad, is it one that I would never tell?
Oh yeah! Are you married to Jacob Lattimore? He was all we dreamed about.
I knew every last one of his songs. My favorite was “The Real”!
PS Hunt him down if you’re not married to him!
Stay strong, work
hard: go home, no
beef, leave it alone, No
friends, stay alone!
Take care of momma:
get rich with her, count
commas: Next Black president
Believe in faith:
Love the hate: Eat
good: some steak:
Can’t wait ‘til that day!
I was eating,
Kissing my grandma
The next day
I had woke
All I got to do
to have fun
with my grandma
Dear Future Self
Hey young lady
This is you. Well, you know
this message is from you
In my dream, I had a dream that
things will be hard for you
I had a dream that you’ll
one day be a leader
of your own movement
I had a dream that you’ll
one day live on the hills
I had a dream that my
career will expand
to something bigger
I had a dream of one day
finding my true love that
will be there for me
I had a dream that
I will be successful and
the most intelligent
When I fell asleep, a dream came to me,
it felt so powerful like a force
hitting me, and I can see how and
what I will become when I grow up.
I see me having a diploma
in high school, and now I’m going
to college, and I have a job
I now see me holding up a degree in college
and I am a hard worker
I am living a good life
Now the dream was over; the dream felt so real
I dreamed of something that seemed real,
was but a dream; I woke up in fear
and afraid; the dream was me
falling off a plane.
I was going sky diving
A bunch of other people were too;
We all got on the broken down plane.
We were in the air, flying through clouds;
all you could see was people lining up to jump
My life: flashed before my eyes and I thought of something
Then, out of nowhere WHOOSH…pushed out
I remember not my dreams, well
yes I do, but they’re black like a burnt
chicken or the dead of night, midnight
perse. At least, I think I don’t dream.
Dreams come true. People say no they do not
unless you work towards them. Nope. Not all
of the things I think, I wish not, my dreams, come true
People say I don’t remember my dreams, I say
yes I do, but it’s just faded. That’s good
because my dreams are to be kept on a leash
They’re like a wild tiger or a K-9 with rabies.
I had a dream once.
That I was falling down a ravine,
once I saw something at the bottom
but it was a long
long, steep, dark, and foggy ravine
but when I finished falling
I saw a little hole at the bottom
and it was my siblings
sitting by the fire with their little tiny mittens
sitting there like a kitten
I thought it was a sight I’ll never see
It was my new baby brother and sister
and that was special to me
I See it All
I jump into my bed,
waiting to see the
dreams inside of my head
to see what is inside my mind.
To see Dragons or Dinos,
To see horses or zebras,
To see anything I want to see.
I close my eyes into a tired slumber
All that I wanted to see
Big or small, I see it all