“Picking up anything it devours”: Video-Inspired Poems

Students watched a bear cam video similar to the one described in the poem we studied, ‘There was this bear cam’ by critic and poet, Sandra Simonds.  Sandra Simonds charts the formations and deformations of the social and political through the observations of the poem’s speakers, interspersed with the language of social media, news reports, political speech, and the dialogue of friends, children, strangers, and politicians. After watching,  students then crafted their own poems based on videos they watched using the vernacular.

LESSON NOTE: ‘Poetry is a body of unprecedented experiences, ‘ said poet Kevah Akbar, in a writers’ workshop I attended. Authors Jack Collom and Sheryl Noethe add:  ‘Much of the fun [of this type of exercise] is the juxtapositions, which can be jagged or unexpected but can point to new meanings.’

Ms. Wright, 7th Grade

The cat did its magic
By Xuanwen F.

In the video, the place was taken in the owners house
there is two cat with a owner, and cat1
was preparing for something as cat 2
and the owner watches what’s happening.
When cat1 goes through the fence.
The owner and cat2 swear they didn’t blink!
Double checking cat1 disappeared.
The end, with a surprised reaction.

By Angel W.

In a video I saw a cat and a dog
Running and walking around the ground
The cat scratch the dog in the face
Then the dog begins to scream
Then the cat get scare and ran away

The dog hates the cat now and he ran away too
After the cat and dog separate
They find new friends
Dog with a pig and
Cat with a hamster
They all like their new best friend

Mrs. Sicora, 8th Grade

The Swirls that Brought Pain
By Alvin K.

The high speed of winds swirling around
Destroying streets and houses
Heavy rains in the zone where the tornado reigns
Picking up anything it devours
The loud roar of thunder
If you see this,
make sure to survive with all your might.
Live, laugh, and love.
End your last sorrows and prioritize your own survival
Even if you watch the partner you’ve been with

Windy Day
By Shunzhen C.

Clouds form together,
the sky turned as grey as possible.
I heard an alert from my phone,
it was about a tornado forming.
I didn’t care.

Moment later.

but it looked weak.

“I could survive that easily!”

So I went in.

After that accident,
I learned to never underestimate any disasters.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.