Chicago, Good and Bad

The young poets from Ms. Murray’s 5th and 6th grade classes read and discussed the poem “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg. In the poem, Carl Sandburg describes the city of Chicago in both a positive and negative light. The students then wrote their feelings about the city they all grew up in. Enjoy!



Green turns to black

As trees wither away

Gases ruining the air

What was once a forest

Is now a violent place with no hope


But all someone needs is a sprout

To start a legacy

That is beautiful and thrives

In a wasteland

Remember, hope never dies



The half-filled bag pours out money

Fear surrounds the atmosphere

Cashiers and hostages beg for mercy

The looters take without giving


The landmarks in Chicago remind me of a dream

Tall, small, huge, thin,

Colors of the rainbow bring joy to my eyes



The smell of the drugs taking away the humid air

Police sirens everywhere

Wondering if it could happen to you


But the tall, amazing, and powerful skyscrapers

Looking at the beauty that shines

Taking away my fear

Keeping me warm and safe



It gets ugly outside when it’s messy

The lake is gone of its’ beauty

Parks are depressing

In the area of shootings


It’s great!

Swimming in pools and lakes

Shopping in malls and restaurants

After visiting monuments



I walk outside and inhale the smell of pollution

I listen to the gun shots

That I hear so often

They ROCK me to sleep at night


I walk down the street

This time, the smell of conchas

Are welcoming me



All the trash and litter on the ground

Every chemical in the air

Shootings growing fast

Criminals selling drugs and killing


All these different places and people

Every view of Chicago is amazing

Adventures that last a lifetime

The lake that floods our city with hope



“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.