Before spring break, we had our penultimate classes, reading and discussing Alberto Ríos‘ “Don’t Go in the Library.” The poem starts, claiming, “The library is dangerous,” and Ríos repeats that same line toward the end, but how is it dangerous? What happens when you go inside? How is it “like a pet store or a bakery”? And what does the ending mean—“You may not come out / The same person who went in”? Written in unrhyming couplets, I asked about the effect of having two-line stanzas throughout; we then talked about the language in the poem, focusing on such phrases as “no nonsense,” “the library is the book of books,” “the doughnut scent of it all,” and “the deli offerings of civilization itself,” as well as the poet’s use of personification, a type of figurative language we’ve encountered in many poems this year. Is it effective here? What’s at stake when you personify something?

The students were then asked to write a poem about being transformed. In what ways are we changed—physically, mentally, others? What does it take to change a person? How are you different from this time last year, last month, last week, or even this morning?

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

Last Year
Mac I.

I turned a year older
on July 22 now I’m 5’3”
and I go to Skinner West
I got two brothers and
a Mom and a Dad
I have a PSU and play

Kaidan K.

yesterday I had a whole tooth
and today I chipped my tooth.

Alex M.

I changed a lot over one year.
First I only knew how to swim a 25 free
style in 35 sec now I can do it in 15 sec!
I changed a lot in 1 year?

Jackson M.

Ever since I was little I was
energetic. Always happy, and smart.
I loved to play sports like
I do now. I used to go
to a school called Blaine. Now
since kindergarten I am in
Skinner. When I was little I
played soccer, football, and basketball.
Now I play basketball and soccer.
I grey a lot. In first grade
I was 3 feet 11 inches. In 2nd
grade I was 4 feet 2 inches. In
3rd grade I was 4 feet
5 inches. Now I am 4 feet 7 inches.
I was very little. Now I
am stronger and taller.

Jaden M.

A year
ago I felt like
I wasn’t ready for 4th
grade. Going all
the way back when I
was a baby I did not
know anything but
now I do.

Arjun S.

I am smarter
I am faster
I am more intelligent
I am stronger
I work harder
I push harder
I root more
I have grown
I am taller
I will not stop getting better.
By the way I am still growing

Mrs. Rupp, 4th Grade

Change I Guess
Nia A.

I haven’t changed at all
know all the same stuff
do all the same things
I haven’t changed at all.

Years Ago
Miriam B.

5 years ago
I was short

4 years ago
I grew a little taller

3 years ago
I grew a lot stronger

2 years ago
I got a little smarter

1 year ago
I was in 3rd grade

15 minutes ago
I wasn’t writing this poem

Adrian F.

I liked
but now
I don’t
like it,
I love
it. I
also used
to read
but I
still read.
I used
to like
I don’t
I love
it. I
used to
but I
You better
like this
I like

Too Much
Aiden F.

Too much
too much
too much

Tyler L.

I didn’t have this
now I do

I didn’t have that
now I do

I didn’t have those
now I do

I didn’t have these
now I do

Solomon P.

From the future, looking down
you see
2 seconds ago
I wrote the P in my name.
5 years ago, I learned to walk,
and read
and write and
and the time before that
I cannot remember
so don’t ask.
But if you question
reality, the origin, faith,
you notice
this world
is from
the past,

looking up.

Aging Knowledge
Alex R.

When I was a small little boy, only
2 years of age, I was reading books, every page.
My parents thought I was as smart as a sage!

I learned that time goes on and on,
and most people were going to be a mom!
I learned about Heaven and Heck, and I
hope that I wasn’t in a spell.

In the library is my real heaven to
me, I live there, practically and in

But one day I was stuck with
you guys, and I have books every-

People say that it is a waste of time,
and they might be right, but
I do it anyway!

Jordan W.

In the past I was the shortest the weakest
and other things now all of that is the
opposite I’m so tall I’m like 4’5” now
I used to be 3’7” I can do military pushups!

This to That
Erika W.

From this to that that
to this I am sad I am
mad this to that

Ms. Travis, 4th Grade

How We Can Change….
Matasia C.

We can change by age we can
change by color
it’s not racist

dark people get darker or
light people get a

We change by height foot
size clothing and good
or bad.

And people can change to
light to light up the world.

Lucas C.

My grades were bad in 3rd now
4th grade they are good A and B’s.

Leo J.

How you change
you act fine
to read books

so you can
become smart
to 3 grade to
4 grade.

Throw Back
Tahlia L.

Smaller to bigger
sidekick to burglar (not true haheha)

sous chef to chef
lonely to 4 friends

long hair to short hair

smart to brilliant
crazy to crazier

fun to funny
bad artist to bad artist

short to short
no fashion to fashionista

don’t eat clams to eat clams
no glasses to no glasses

(my name) Tahlia to Tahlia (ta leah)

not able to do backhandspring to

Danger TIMES
Mikayla M.

This is the poem of billions, bad PRESIDENT,


Even before was BAD

THE PRESIDENTs were BAD at that
so you see there’s
always going to be something BAD

but we will get there

Isis O.

I have changed

I turn from a
baker to a
baker and

I have reunited with
my friends

but I am still me and
nothing’s going
to change

Olive P.

3rd grade
red hair secret dancer very shy

4th grade
purple hair, great dancer

not that shy
smart and strong and
very athletic

I Used to
Mitra S.

I used to be small
but now I am big
I used to be quiet
but now I am loud
I used to be gloomy
but now I am all happy
I used to play with toys
but now I never
I used to do this and I used
to do
but now I changed and that is
just how I am.

Vishal S.

3rd grade was
basically the great
depression of my life
(no, seriously, it was terrible)
but I’ve changed
in many ways to be

I got taller by 2 inches
so did my personality &
plus my skills
in athletic
like basketball,
track, and stuff

But that doesn’t
at least I grew.

3rd to 4th
Ayden S.

It wasn’t hard at Budlong in
3rd grade.

I was sad when I transferred.

Budlong to Skinner.

But I was happy to have new
friends and happy to have my old

I was sad to happy.

Mrs. Johnson, 4th Grade

Deondre C.

I have changed by me knowing more
stuff and my height and age.
And I didn’t like to read now
I love to.

Roxie L.




less knowledgable—>smarter



The Trapdoor
Jacob L.

DON’T go through
the trapdoor,

It’s dangerous.

There are serpents

Burning wood

Bows and arrows


DON’T go through
the trapdoor

Aarav M.

Hmm, how have I changed? I honestly don’t know. Wait,
I do know! I’ve grown taller, I’ve become smarter.

Change…what you were in the past and what you are in
the present. I’ve changed by becoming more mature during the
years have gone by. Changing could be good or bad.

Calvin M.

I loved myself now I hate myself.

Moses N.

I changed when I got
blown up! I changed because
I look different.

Albert S.

I’ve changed my life how
going on spring break

Anthony S.

5 years ago I had a 4 pack and
now I have an 8 pack couple of years ago
I liked pizza now I don’t.

Don’t Walk into the Bakery
Howard W.

Don’t walk into the bakery you will get
full very fast you want
something else then you will
find someone you don’t like.
Walk out and you will
feel mixed up.

Sirun Z.

This is REAL

When I was 6, I was scared of dogs.

And now I have a dog.

Mrs. Oluewu, 4th Grade

Courtney B.

I was happy
I was sad
I am upset
I’m glad
I am mad
Now I’m OK

You Over There
Kyndall F.

Have you ever changed in personality? I have I
used to be sassy but now I’m not. I know you over
there wouldn’t agree. Did you know that we have a
math test tomorrow? I know you over there don’t.
If you haven’t noticed you are like the future unpredictable
on how you are going to act today

Aurelie G.

I was sad
Now I’m mad

Then I feel bad
I want my dad

I’m me nad
I’m feel aad

And now I’m just
making up words

Erik I.

I’m happy
I’m sad
I’m mad
I’m calm
I’m hysterical
I’m calm

Kayla K.

I used to not have glasses, but now I
I just remembered that I forgot
to bring my
glasses to
so now I don’t have

OMG I Changed!!!
Kyle L.

I have changed
Or have I changed?
I don’t remember if I have changed
Oh yeah! I remember.
Oh wait I forgot
OMG I changed!!!!

Dark Days
Alexis M.

I used to see the world not through my eyes, or
heart but instead my head then I saw it through
my eyes now I see it through a foggy glass cup only
half full cool or not I’ve sought out a difficult
life of broken dreams & dark days & that’s how
I will forever stay & see the world like so.

I’ve Changed, but Not Much
Opal P.

I have changed
but not much

I’ve changed only as I grew older
but really
I’m no
different than
I’m me
not you
I’ve changed but
not much

How I Have Changed
Josiah R.

I used to be wearing pajamas
now I am wearing a hoodie and jogging pants

Sophia S.

Look at the skies
so bright and blue
I would not see
with eyes blind hurt

I thought I could
live but I was
wrong with the thought
I need hope joy

Soon I found that
I love my new
them they are perfect
for me and eyes

Londyn W.

I used to be the
shortest person in

my class. Now I’m
not that short.

I sucked my pacifier
till I was about 3.

Now, I like hard
candies because

they remind me of
my pacifier.

I barely wore
diapers. Now

I don’t use
one. (I’m a big

kid now.)



“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.