Bright Lights, Big City… and Beats Pills (TM)

We began class with a reading of Lucille Clifton’s deceptively simple poem,’ in the inner city’.  We looked at how the poet used lines  and white space to draw us in. Students turned the poem on its side to reveal a secret. The class discussed their perceptions of the city in which they live and cities in general and then put all hands on deck to create a group poem, called an Exquisite Corpse.

Lesson Note:   Exquisite Corpse,  (from the original French term cadavre exquis), is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence without seeing what the other people before them has added. Once everyone has take a turn,  the entire work is revealed! This practice has origins in an early 1900’s parlor game called Consequences– and so students had fun with it. To that end…I have taken some editing liberties.

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
1st Period

The City
Tommy F., Nick, L., Alexandra L., Eliza L., Carlos M., Sebastian P., Dawn P., Bessy R., Trinity S., Kamil S.

As the snow fell time
if I was snow would I get
to you even a little bit faster
Spring is coming Winter was then
Now Spring is here, I see a hen
Summer is coming up flowers are here
With the sun shining down on the tall buildings
and kids playing in the park
all happy because they are having fun

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
3rd Period

The City
Marc B., Natalee B., Gabriela G., Elena H., Nichelas J., Aidan K., Elizabeth L., Robert S., Joshua S.

Bold, Bright poster supported by crumbling beams.
Fast cars, Bright lights, and groups of people
Warm summers, cold winters
Hope for the future
Learning from the past, ready
Much violence
That’s hard to let stay
Loud cars and fluffy clouds
So many people, they makes lots of sound
That sound is my mixtape in their
Beats (TM) Pills

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
6th Period

The City
Amina A., Honne B., Ronan E., Joseph G., Jahdiel L., Kara S.

Just how life passes on
It has cold winter days
From the dull colors of Winter
To the flashing colors of summer steaming you away
And the energy you have to stay up late
Is as expensive as the house itself.
People everywhere in the street shivering
in the cold

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
7th Period

The City
Joaquin G., Ben G., Keith G., Priscila M., Samuel O., Sebastian P., Phillip P.

There’s violence, then hatred, but then
come the gracefulness,
There’s theft , then segregation, but
then goes the beautifulness,
The beautifulness then leads to snow
The snow then leads to the happiness
The happiness then leads to smiles
And from smiles come sorrow
And from sorrow all together makes life

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
8th Period

The City
Avery D., Charlie K., Owen L., Izumi P., Sebastian R., Emily R.

Chicago, the windy city
snow in March
sun in June
will burn your skin
snow in December
flows in the wind



“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.