Can Poetry Change an Event

In Ms. Budzelin’s 8th grade class, we read Eve Ewing’s “Four Boys on Ellis [a re-telling],” in which Ewing creates a new, magical, and freeing ending for an instance of racism.  We had a powerful conversation about the ability of poetry to actually make change. We also discussed how we can show the work our poem is doing through its form. We wrote our own poems about events we would want to change.


Columbus Sucked


The day has come and the sun is rising

The savages can be seen on the horizon

We’ve heard the prophecies of disease and bloodshed

Of how they would attack, little to not said

They came ashore, demanded for ore

Tried to force us to be enslaved aboard


When I get in severe trouble


When I get in severe trouble for something I did not do, how my heart felt like it was as fast as the motor of a tractor going on 1,000 MPH. I wish I could have explained how anyone else could have done it, but the risk of it being considered a lie was as high up as the empire state. If only what I got in trouble for was as overflowing as the ocean and no one would bother to share, make houses, and even art it to make a perfect society.





“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.