Plainspoken

This week’s poem by Wallace Stevens, “The Plain Sense of Things,” prompted different responses and discussions in each classroom. Students grappled with certain aspects of its vocabulary, which proved harder than to simply provide definitions for, since Stevens makes some odd word choices that are difficult to put into logical context; we’re used to poems not “making sense” at this point in the residency, but the other, more descriptive parts of the poem suggest a more straightforward reading. So I focused on the images here—of a greenhouse that “never so badly needed paint,” a chimney “slant[ing] to one side,” and a “great pond … without reflections, leaves, / Mud, water like dirty glass, expressing silence // Of a sort.” We talked about what kind of scene this was describing, and also how the title, which is repeated twice in the poem, tied in with it.

In the poem Stevens also says, “It is difficult even to choose the adjective / For this blank cold,” and I asked if the students could tell me what adjectives do? The idea this week, then, was to use as much description as possible in their poems.

Ms. Thiel, 2nd Grade

Cat
Ibrahim B.

My cat is as cute as
a poodle. Skinny like a
skeleton. He is dark as black.
He is lazy as a rock!

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Deondre C.

Cheetahs are fast
runners. They are
yellow and black
they are faster than
lions.

Cheetahs can be
21 some run
1,000 miles per hour.
They run faster than
a zebra. Zebras are
white and black some
run fast like a
cheetah.

The Thing—What Is It?
Aurelie G.

The thing—what is it? It has rainbow
skin. Its head is
shaped weird.
Its lips are curvy.
It has a
tail.
It had hair like Rapunzel.
It had long narrow ears.
The thing—what is it? It
had a heart. Hot pink dress.
It had feet and hands
like a giraffe.
THE THING—WHAT IS
IT?

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Mikhail S.

Ice is unique.
Ice is cold ice is slippery.
Ice is hard it’s cool
it’s sticky it will melt it.
Will freeze it can
break. It will get larger
each year.

Ms. Ward, 2nd Grade

Untitled
Nico F.

My stuffed animal
is soft it’s also fluffy

it’s fluffy
it’s big

it smells
very good it
is very cool

it’s clean
and cozy

it’s sometimes
hot

and it is sometimes
cold

Friend
Isis O.

My friend is small

my friend is 7

my friend is brown

my friend is playful

my friend is cool

my friend is my best friend

Describe
Anthony S.

My house is the color of my
skin. My room is green and it’s
a little white. My car is blue.

Carpet
Nicolas T.

I have a carpet. It is
big, itchy, and rough. It looks
brown. Brown is a rough color.

My carpet is magic. I use
it to fly.

I have a plain carpet

I love my carpet.

A Pillow
Annette W.

My pillow is soft, so soft.
It is fluffy and red,
and it rests on my bed.
It jolts me awake every day.
It feels soft.
It smells sweet, candy sweet.
It tastes like a jar of cotton
candy.
I see a fluffy red pillow.

Ms. O’Connor, 2nd Grade

Me
Ilani A.

Me and only
me, I’m beautiful.
I’m loving
I’m
caring

so
I love me.
I have a grey shirt with
pink polka-dots and
blue jeans.

I love me!
I love me!

Oh loving, smart, beautiful, me!

Houses
Tyler L.

A house
has a chimney sometimes

it might also have a
staircase or
a basement it’ll also

have people.

Car Describer
Sai S.

All cars,
all in weird shapes
all have wheels
all zooming around
all never tired
playing on the road

Love
Triniti W.

Love makes you feel
happy, sad

good, bad

You can fall into it

You can fall out of it

Heart mending

Heart breaking

Love makes you feel
happy, sad

good, bad

My Imaginary Sister
Londyn W.

My imaginary sister is
three years old.
She loves me dearly
from her heart to her soul.
She’s pretty she’s sweet.
She’s nice she’s Eliza trick.
Her name is Elizabeth.
She knows how to touch
her head to toe.
She kisses me night
to day. Before I leave
she jumps and plays.

Ms. Rupp, 2nd Grade

Cheerleading
Kyndall F.

You work super hard in cheerleading
all the time you are doing stunts,
tumbling, pyramids & dance.
Then you do a full out.
Oh oh oh we do
so much…
WORK

Dritten
Audrey H.

Half cat,
half dragon
cute
small
breathes fire

Gummy Bear
Alexander R.

I am a gummy bear
I live in a gummy cave
and bubble yums
and my
neighbors tell me

I’m chicken
uh oh
here’s the mouth

chomp!

Boogerman
Eason T.

He eats boogers,
He has pet boogers,
He saves the day with boogers,
Totally boogers!
He’ll dig his nose.
And snort in yo faccce!
Totally boogers!

Ms. Schwartz, 2nd Grade

Classroom
Christian C.

It has a teacher, desks, board,
rug, lockers, chairs, rules, supplies,
a computer, and work.

White House
Shreesh K.

What if a white house
had a muddy puddle?
What if it had
a gross chimney?
What if a team
were bad at football?
What if a drink
tasted salty? What
if someone drank
sink water, that
would cause
germs.
EEEEW!
That person
is yucky for
sure.

Ms. Schwartz Is
Emily S.

really nice
really funny
really cool
awesome
helpful
not mean
great
pretty hair
always on schedule
perfect
cute

iPad
Vishal S.

Awesome
inappropriate
black
cool
kinda dumb
informational learning
mathematics
social emotional learning

Untitled
Jamen W.

The pizza was hot and spicy
it smells like dog and really
really cheesy and it feels so hard
and so soft and really crazy
and weird and dumb I am
so dumb

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