Come to Think of It…

The title of Elizabeth Bishop‘s poem, “Little Exercise,” doesn’t immediately make sense, considering that it appears to describe, in detail, and with various forms of figurative language, a storm’s passage across a Florida vista. It begins, “Think of the storm roaming the sky uneasily / like a dog looking for a place to sleep in, / listen to it growling,” and the storm’s personification (or dogification?) via simile sets the scene up dramatically. The speaker also asks the reader to “think how they must look now, the mangrove keys . . . unresponsive to the lightning,” also “of the boulevard and the little palm trees . . . as fistfuls of limp fish-skeletons,” the latter a particularly interesting metaphoric comparison that led to much thoughtful conversation. By the last stanza, when readers are asked to think of “someone sleeping in the bottom of a row-boat / tied to a mangrove root or the pile of a bridge,” a person has finally entered into the poem’s universe, but who are they and why is he “uninjured, barely disturbed”?

I explained to the students that this poem is a modern take on the pastoral tradition—creative works that idealize rural life and landscapes. For their own poems, they were asked to imagine a particular place or view, writing about it with as much sensory detail as possible.

Mrs. Rupp, 4th Grade

The Beach
Calvin B.

Listening to the waves crashing
With a dog with you

Running along the beach
Playing Frisbee with friends

The sun is very bright
Sand burning our toes

Crisp, cool air
With a salty smell

Splashing in the water
Fish nibbling on your feet

Getting ready to go home
Packing things up

Getting in the burning hot car
With towels on the seats

Ready to go home
That was a fun day!

Clarke B.

if you look around what you will see
are all those little birds watching me

their tiny beaks open waiting for their mom
to feed them worms, so they’ll go chomp chomp

I see their furry bodies moving around
they look very annoying, spinning round and round

Alisa H.

Walking down the sandy walkway
Waves crashing into the bay
Feet sinking into the sand
Tranquil and quiet with the boat rowing by
Looking for special seashells, I collect they
Feeling the wet water, sinking into my hand

Manasvi P.

The vast road stretches on lined with trees,
Vendors call out their wares to the people walking,
The sun is shining brightly burns everyone’s backs.

Cracks appear in some parts of the road,
And sometimes leads to a fork.
The people chattering loudly.

Thick fog appears in the air,
To warn you of the heavy rains of the monsoon.

Life moves on slowly,
Everyone focuses on their own task,
Ignoring the activity around them.

And all of this goes on,
Every morning in India,
As I look out from a window.

The Storms Come In
Farren S.

When a storm comes in
It’s a rumble of thunder
Like a battlefield
Of fighting soldiers.

On the sea when the storm comes in
The waves will crash and roll
On your little sail boat
We aren’t safe at all!

From my view at home when a storm comes in,
The rain pounds against my window
Lightning flashes
Dogs whine and bark
We are all on the couch watching TV.

Kennedy W.

When I am supposedly asleep I wait for my
mother to come home.
I listen to hear her keys jingling
or her heels click-clacking on the porch.

As I look out from my window by my
plush blanket I see a dark shadow and all my worries
are gone.
My mother is home and safe.

Mrs. Carlson, 4th Grade

Arnav J.

As I look out the window I see the leaves
falling down just like snow I see
the sun being shadowed by clouds as
the sun fades away I think as it slowly goes

Simra K.

You walk down the stone path,
look for your friend. She calls,
I saved a seat for you.

It is evening now,
your wristwatch says seven-thirty
but it feels like midnight.

Meteors streak the sky
running from one end to the other
and you hope to catch one.

You try and try,
on this silent night until
the park is loud and cheerful.

Your hair is streaked and dotted
with cherry-blossom petals
blowing in the wind

and one meteorite
shines in the moonlight
safe in your hands.

You rejoin your friend.
It is now your much-loved
midnight in grass.

Audrey L.

Think of the warm, cozy barn
right outside your bedroom window

Think of the cows and hens all
fast asleep

Think of the work ahead and
feel yourself being woken up
to begin the morning


Raja’ed L.

I always like looking
at my family’s faces
cuz they are so funny
and I love my
family and I will
keep loving them

Cold Winter
Sai P.

See crooked trees of the cold
winter day. The park all wet and
cracked. The swings go creaking
in the cold winter day.

See the weeds swaying in the
wet foggy air of the cold winter
night. See the stars as little torches
in the dark sky of the cold
winter night.

See the blazing sun shine over
the cracked sidewalk in the cold
winter morning. See birds chirping
in the bright light of the cold
winter morning.

Pastoral in Color
Ana R.

I see fields of green,
gardens of roses.
I see cows and pigs and
hens colored yellow.
A big red hut,
its roof colored blue.
I see a child on a
brown mare,
laughing, smiling.
I see the forest,
with its big, black,
burnt trees.
The fire had burned,
and left a mark.
The hot, sticky air
stuck on my face.
I retreat into my
house, far away
from the farm.

Mrs. Johnson, 4th Grade

Nicole A.

Trees swaying,
leaves falling.

Mittens and
sweat shirts,
kids playing.

Parents racking.

It is fall.

Tarynn J.

As I looked out the window I could
feel the warm smell of pizza and
taste the cupcakes being served across
the street.

But little did I know walking in there
could change my whole day…

Lucy K.

Looking out of the window I see
lifeless plants, no longer green
colorful birds, that won’t be seen
fields of gray that used to be white
that fill me with dismay, not delight

The gate with dust, not shine
it used to be his, now it is mine

Around Me
Jack K.

The trees around me…

The people around me…

The buildings around me…

The animals around me…

The life around me…

I want you to be around me…

Lily L.

The sun is shining
the palm trees
are blowing through
the wind crabs
walk across the
bed of sand the
shells are reflecting
from the sun
shining on it.
I see flowers
blooming and
plants moving.
That is what
I see!!

Early Morning After School
Raja’na L.

every morning
I go to
school I walk
in look out
the window
sometimes snowing
sometimes raining
when I look
all I see
is a field,
park, and trees
after school
go to basketball
and sometimes
I even go to
the park, field,
and basketball
court, or even
just hang out
with my friends
and go home.

Roshan S.

The lonely trees with
no color. Nothing
but the cold wind moving.
The little green grass so
perfect. No feet on it.
Suddenly, a big, mean, brown, black
dog with so much drool ruins
the perfect grass. The wind
becomes faster it becomes
colder then boom. All the
grass becomes perfect again
and it becomes silent.
There are no people there
anymore. It is just a little
lonely park. It is

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

Xavier A.

Think of you going to a martial arts
dojo not a certain dojo just four mats
on the ground and a back room that’s
what I go to a taekwondo dojo
or studio so cool and you fight
and punch and kick and test but
it’s fun you should come. When
you listen to the yelling you could
hear me.

What I See
Joy C.

When I look outside, I see a large tree.
When I look outside, I see a flower pot.
When I look outside, I see other houses.
When I look outside, I see . . . A DRAGON?

A View
Myriam H.

I look out
my window I
see the street
filled with cars

I see the
sun and the
sky I see
the clouds

I see skyscrapers
and birds and
lights, and windows it
is beautiful

Aayush K.

Trees and dirt.
Trees and dirt and grass.
Trees and dirt and grass and worms.
Trees and dirt and grass and worms and leaves.
That is what I see.

Sydney T.

Think of a mountain as white
as a sheep. You see people
sliding down the slopes as bright
as a rainbow. The hot cocoa is
as hot as the sun the trees
are covered in snow oh no.

Eva Z.

Think about when you’re
bored, and it is a stormy night
and you put music on.

You start to fall asleep,
lower and lower your eyes go.

Next thing you know,
you’re in Disney World
and you’re the only one
that’s there.

And go on all the
rides for free.



“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.