Centomental Education

Our inevitable last classes occurred this week. I brought in one of my own poems to share, giving students the opportunity to quiz me on its particulars. “Finding Bigfoot,” inspired by the TV show of the same name, features a speaker looking for the mysterious creature in some odd places, such as a closet, cupboard, and refrigerator. Certain students thought the poem was inherently funny while others questioned why anyone would search for such a big critter in those small spaces? I said that it could also be interpreted as searching for something that’s difficult to find: the more locations that thing could be, the more daunting discovering it seems. As has been the norm throughout the residency, our conversations were informative, inspirational, and invigorating!

To celebrate, we concluded by composing class-written poems. The cento (or collage poem) is a poetic patchwork composed entirely of lines by individuals. Students pondered how they feel and/or what they think about poetry; they gave me their favorite lines on the subject, which I recorded randomly. The resulting centos are below.

Thanks to all the student poets and their teachers for warmly welcoming me into their classrooms!

Ms. Kawa
4th Grade

Poetry is like throwing words like a ball, freely.
Poetry is like flowers blooming on trees.
Poetry is my escape.
Poetry is like the Twitter bird talking.
Poetry is amazing, a way to zen, and a way to be calm and relax.
Poetry is as powerful as a cannon.
Poetry is like when I sleep with my favorite Squishmallow.
When flowers bloom, bees come.
Poetry is so fun I feel like I am creating earth.
Poetry is an outburst of creativity.
Poetry is a creative, emotional form of art.
Poetry is a happy feeling filled with joy!
Poetry is like watching anime but it's only words.
Poetry feels deep and I can share emotions and thoughts.
Poetry is like dynasties.
Poetry is as a form of emotion.
Poetry is like eating banana split.
Poetry is like a person's imagination spilled.
Poetry flows like a raging waterfall.
Poetry is an astonishing experience.
Poetry is like stanzas of gold.
Sometimes I think poetry is like a silver coin of rareness.
Poetry is everywhere.

Ms. Makris
4th Grade

Poetry is like a lion roaring for attention.
Poetry is like a sea of words with deep meaning.
Page and a story.
Poetry makes me feel good.
It makes me feel joyful.
Poetry is like a calm wave on the ocean.
Poetry is the peace between a written.
Poetry is like a RAWWW.
I feel like poems are very relaxing to read. It is like you are talking to flowers.
Poetry is like a song, but you write it.
Poetry. Feelings in the palm of my hand.
Poetry makes me feel like a light brighter than them all.
Poetry is like a big fluffy cloud soaring through the sky.
Poetry is like a flower, always blooming.
Poetry is a piece of the sun blooming like a flower in the sky.
Poetry is so so so so fun.
Poetry is as Earth's environment when it's crashing in my heart.
Poetry is like climbing a tree.
Poetry is like words.
Poetry is liked.
Poetry makes you rhyme.
Poetry is like Star Wars; it is creative and different.
Poetry makes you calm as a yoga teacher.
Poetry can be storm.
I think it’s funny.
Poems are so cool because poems are fun and also me.

Mr. O’Brien
4th Grade

Poetry is as sweet as ice cream.
Poetry is awesome.
Poetry is as magical as unicorns.
Poetry is like feelings flying in the sky.
It flows like a river.
I love poetry.
Poetry is hard, it is also happy, sad, and joyful.
Poetry makes me feel happy, it makes me joyful in many different ways.
This was a fun 10 weeks.
Poetry was fun and cool, the best part was reading it.
My last day of poet class I feel sad.
Poetry makes me feel free.
Poetry makes me feel content and joyful, it slides like ice.
Poetry makes me feel powerful.
Poetry makes me feel very happy because I love writing and I love to learn new things.
Poetry makes me feel like when I see a rainbow shine.
Poetry makes me feel free when I write it.
I like to rhyme with poetry.
I really like writing and hoping to get published.
Precious poetry has no makers, for poetry comes in its own sweet time, and it possesses humanity from every word and letter.

Ms. Nelson
4th Grade

Poetry shines bright like a diamond.
Poetry makes me feel free.
Time flies like poetry.
Poetry: rhyming, shining, sends me to an island.
Poetry: something to express your feelings, funny, silly, could be, maybe.
Poetry is like a shooting star, it just keeps going.
Shaquille O'Neal has great dunks.
Poetry is like having freedom.
Poetry is the heart of words.
Poetry is like a mind always thinking.
Poetry makes me question like a questionnaire.
Poetry is zenial, yet sometimes incomplete.
Poetry is like a star—so amazing and bright.
Poetry is a boomerang because it always comes back.
Poetry is amazing as unicorns dancing through the sky.
Poetry is the booming rhyme I could never come up with.
Poetry is great as space.
Poetry is beautiful with no limits.
Poetry makes me feel peaceful.
Poetry makes me feel like there is no rules.
Life is a gift from God.
I like poetry because it's something fun to pass the time.
Poetry makes me feel comfortable and I get to let out my feelings.



“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.