‘A war in my heart’: Name Poems

Students explored names through a series of prompts, which began with a reading of ‘a girl named Jack’ by Jaqueline Woodson. What occurs in the naming of someone or something? How does it sound when spoken? How does it feel to be announced or announce someone by their name? Who speaks the name like you do?

Lesson Note: ‘…the name a person bears through life is something [they] must carry, and it is sometimes the only thing others have to judge you by before they meet you. Your name travels ahead of you like a portent of things to come, a thing from which others make assumptions about people.’-Tim Lockwood, Writer.

Ms. Wright, 7th Grade

“My Name”
by Alania L.

My name is Alania
My name has many meanings

for example, handsome, child, and awakening
I think handsome as my name’s meaning is not for me at all!
But I will take it as a compliment just like my other meaning
“child.” That makes me think I will stay young forever!

No Idea
by: Xingzhi Z.

For the longest time I had no idea.
No idea of what this meant.
No idea of why this is.
No idea why it was so confusing

No idea of why my name is mine.
Xingzhi Z.
All I know is that my parents gave me it
All I know is that people get it wrong
All I know is that I like it.

Ms. Wright, 8th Grade

My Name
By: Ya Lin C.

The day I was born
My mother and father thought I was an elegant beautiful baby
That’s how my first name became Ya
I have always woke up in the morning early, ever since I was young
Thus, my last name is C.
My mother always told me “In the future, you will shine brightly for the world to see”
Because of that, my father said, “ Lin”
“Lin, that’s a good middle name,” my mother said
Now my full name is complete.

Rin or Rina?
By: Rin/Rina C

I wasn’t always known as “Rin”
however, the name Rina doesn’t sound so appealing, does it?

When you think of the name Rina you might think of a few things
Maybe you think of an author who wrote a romance book
or an artist who won many awards
or a Chinese actor who stared in many shows

but for me, I remember an energetic and extroverted girl who loved her friends
a girl who loved art and reading but despised math
a girl who was easily annoyed but got along well with others
a girl who would look up in confusion as the teacher shouts her name.

why? you may ask.
there were two Rina’s in the classroom after all
one with the name that ended with Lin and wouldn’t be grammatically corrected
and the other that ended with Chen that would be grammatically corrected to the other.

One day the young girl had enough
aspired by a rhythm game character, she changed her name to “Rin”
she didn’t have blonde hair and didn’t like oranges but it worked for her and that was enough.

From then on she was known as Rin
a hardworking girl with a passion in her heart
a girl who loved her mom and would sacrifice anything to make her happy
a girl who hid behind a mask in fear of judgment
a girl who hated her past name because of who she was before
but most importantly a girl who fought a battle to accept her past.

but I do wonder what sticks out more.
“Rin or Rina”
A war in my heart that is yet to be settled.



“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.