A Place In The Sun

A lesson on Personification, giving human qualities to something non-human via the poem, A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island. We took a look at Frank O’ Hara’s touching and somewhat mystifying poem. Among the illuminating things that happen in this text, our speaker engages in a conversation with the Sun. The Sun imparts opinions and wisdom to the speaker. It is a Lyric poem, one that reflects some of the poet’s own feelings. Over the years, many have discussed its meaning.

Lesson Note: To help spark imaginations, each student was given an image and invited to create a Lyric poem using Personification, to create voices/speakers/situations. In part, this exercise is based on The Poetry Center’s ‘Poet’s Look At Pictures’ call for submissions, where local writers were asked to respond to an image through poetry. Students were also encouraged to go with any other ideas might be sparked during the creating process. Writer Nick Flynn’s is quoted as saying: ‘A poet’s job is not to play fast and loose with the facts of this world. [But rather to] imagine.”

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 2

Emmanuel A.

One bright sunny day in the woods I came across
a lonely salamander. I looked at it
in couriousness and saw its
beautiful ugliness.

It looked at me and said it’s
‘never good to judge something
on how it looks’ He told me
although he looked ugly, he was
kind and loving.

I said to him ‘yeah, but I’ve had my
fair share of not judgging someone
and then looking like how thy

He looked at me again and said ‘you foolish
being, looks are very, very deceiving.’
I asked how? and he replied to
me and changed the subject. And
everyday I think and remember this.
he said to me ‘What you don’t
like about others is what you
don’t like about yourself.’ I blinked
and he vanished. I never saw
that salamander again.

Natasha P.

I woke up one early
Spring morning. I decided
to fo for a relaxing walk.

‘What a lovely morning
this is.’ I stoppped for
a moment to look at a flower.
it looked beautiful, majestic, and
so pretty. I wanted to grab it,
take it home. ‘Hey! Don’t do that!’
I jumped back.

‘Are you? …Did you?…Just…T…T…T…Talk?’
‘Why of course I did. Now pick me
back up Pls.’ ‘How are yo utalking?’
‘Just like you and everyone else.’
I decided I would take it home.

‘You are so pretty.’
‘Why, thank you so much. Now
I stopped you today because every
morning I see you walk past me
listening to your music. Every morning alone.’
That’s because no none ever want to walk
with me.’ ‘Well that’s okay. Now I’m going to
ask you something. Why did you stop by me today?’

‘I thought you were so majestic and wanted to
see you.’ I wanted to take you home.’ ‘So if you see
someone that looks pretty you’re going to assuem that
they are nice and take them home?’

‘I’m going to tell you
something. Don’t ever judge a book by its cover. What
if I was one of the meanest
flowers ever.’ I said nothing.

‘What if I was one of
the ugliest flowers ever but
very nice? Would you just
leave me there? Ask
yourself that.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 3

A True Account of Hunting with King of the Cold
Daniel G.

‘Hello Mr. Bear! How are you today?’

‘How does it look kid. It’s -30 F out here, I can’t find
food anywhere and even if I do it swims away before
I can even get a good look at it.’

‘Well, first of all, I’m 14, so not a kid and second why don’t
you just call Uber Eats? They’re incredibly fast and
don’t charge a lot. I don’t ever have to worry about finding
food when I know Uber Eats is here to help.’

“Jeeze Danny, you sound like an infomerical. Don’t you
think I’ve tried that before though. Not too many of you
humans are thrilled to see an 11 foot tall, 400 lb eating
machine with paws biggger than their head. I had to learn
to hunt my food and you’re gonna ehlp me alright?

‘First you’re gonna have to get out your phone and unlock it.
Now give me your phone.’

‘Alright now weh…HEY COME BACK HERE!!!’

‘Hi, I’d like to order your finest fish. Yes. Yes.
Wow, Danny was right you do deliver fast!’

A True Account of Talking to the Fish on the Other Side of the Screen
Naomi V.

It was the middle of the day, I was being
very productive. I sat down and turned on
the TV and while it turned ono I went to
get a snack. While in the kitchen I heard
a sound of someone speaking. I was scared
considering that I was home alone. I rushed
back to the living room where on the TV
I saw a live aquarium, but with only one
fish. He turned to me and said ‘Would you
mind sharing some of that food.’ I
immediately dropped the plate.

‘Hello?’ i responded, thinking if it was just my mind fooling me. When I had gotten no
response I reached for the remote. He yelled
out. ‘Wait! Don’t change the channel, it’s so
lovely here. you get to venture out into the
world whle I only swim in circles in the
water. So tell me what is cool today.’
I spoke to the fish about modern day
things. ‘So this James you speak of has sisters.
Then he asked me about how I was doing.
I told him about how I have so many
things on my mind and I don’t know
where to start. He told me that I
shouldn’t give up no matter what.
I said good bye and clicked off.

Mrs. Strus, 7th Grade

Eliza A.

‘Heyyy!’ I said as I was
walking down the sand dunes.
‘Hey!’ the birds spoke back
to me. I was surprised.

‘What are you doing on this dark
day?’ I asked
‘Just looking so see what I can
find out here,’ The birds replied.

‘I must be dreaming, I have never
been to communicate with an animal.’

SYNC the Robot
Christian L.

One day I was walking through
Best Buy
And a robot named Sync said

‘But you are $1000!!!’


Aaliyah M.

‘Aye, you.’ ‘Me?’
‘Yes, you! You should take
me please. I want to leave
this boring rock & be happy.’

‘Oh R.I.P. I don’t really think
I can though or I even should.
I don’t really like yiou either

‘Oh plesae bro, I just want to
go somewhere & have purpose.
You could design me if
you want just get me out.’

“Oof, I will think about
it. I mean you’re not the
ugliest here I guess. Just
don’t take this the wrong
way. I’m sure you’ll find
someone right for you but I
don’t think that’s me.’

“oh…Okay then um yea
I’ll be fine but if you decide
differently I’ll be here. (whispers to self)
I just don know for how long.’



“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.