Contemplating Silence

The week before spring break, Miss Davis’s eighth graders contemplated the nuances of silence in U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón‘s prose poem “The Quiet Machine.” We talked about prose poetry and thought about types of silence we like (in our rooms, wearing our headphones, with no one bothering us) and dislike (during state testing, awkward silence, the silent treatment), admiring how the repetition in Limón‘s poem gave us so many different versions of quiet. Here are some poems we wrote about quiet and other emotions/states of being!


Miss Davis
Eighth Grade
Yellow Group


By Angel T.

cold but warm
pillow cold as ice
blankets hot like the desert
quiet but loud
sometimes it’s quiet
you can hear wind blowing
through the trees
also loud like the city
that is what I call


By Traveon Y.

hyper so hyper like i’m
bouncing on walls hyper
like the December break
hyper like Chicago weather
cold and snowy hot the next
hyper o so very hyper.


Miss Davis
Eighth Grade
Red Group


By Billy G.

Every space filled with silence, darkness filling the
room, lost in a labyrinth of solitude, all I hear
is silence. Am I sad, at peace, or just full of
thought? Silence whispers in my ear and I respond with
emotion and thoughts. The silence and darkness have
gotten me. Now I am one with silence and
can find myself in the darkness. All there
is to find is me in an endless void of solitude.


Rage and Sadness
By Sarah K.

I hate and hate
and I do this all day
no matter where, there’s always something radiating
boiling over a big pot
my patience evaporating
The pot is empty
and so is my heart
and I can’t tell the days apart
Can we go back to the start?
No. The pot burns but doesn’t boil.
It disintegrates.


By Emilio M.

Like a match to a firework
Flashing lights
Like when you’re playlist is on shuffle
but your favorite song starts playing
Like when you start sprinting and you don’t want to stop
Thrill, Excite, Lit
Lit as an everlasting candle
Full of vibe and in the mood
Like when your mom makes some bomb food
Like when it’s the 4th of July and you’re blinded
Like when you lose something then you find it


By Alyssa R.

I like being silent
I’m quiet because I don’t know how to interact with people.
I’m quiet because what’s going on in my head is far more
interesting than what people have to offer.
I’m somewhere else in my mind
and I feel more than content.
My mind is a script no one can read,
it’s a conversation no one can hear,
and it’s a place no one can enter.
I don’t like being social
I hate stressing about what others think
and I hate knowing words can ruin everything.
I wish the world was quiet.
Words are so unnecessary.



“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.