Dear World

This week at Skinner West, I started each class by selecting two students (a boy and a girl) to read Emily Dickinson‘s “This is my letter to the World.” Beforehand, I asked them to read through the poem silently, paying attention to any unusual punctuation and capitalization, in case that might alter how they read it. As we began discussing it, the conversation turned to why the poet capitalized certain words, such as News, Message, and Hands—we’ve already seen how some poets choose to flaunt conventional rules of writing, which Dickinson definitely does here, and we decided that this is likely for special emphasis on those words. I pointed out how when each student reader recited the poem, they chose to pause more than normally when they came to the places in the poem where Dickinson used dashes; I said this was a trademark of her style, and then spoke at some length about how her poems were originally published with all her unusual grammar replaced by more conventional grammar, noting that it took more than one hundred years for the poems to finally be published as Dickinson wrote them. The students were understandably fascinated by this amazing poet who devoted her life to her craft as a writer! We also looked at her use of rhyme in the poem, finding it was not just at the end of lines but sometimes in the middle, and not always ‘perfect,’ relying more on sound-alikes.

For the 2nd graders’ poems, I asked them to write their own letters to the world, and they came up with some that were serious, some funny, and some in-between, but all incredible!

Ms. Rupp, 2nd Grade

My Letter to the World
Carolina B.

I’m writing a letter to the world
even though they never wrote
to me. I don’t know what to
say so hi and goodbye. But
please remember me.

A Letter to the World
Alijah C.

World I wish you can
be better no more slavery
no more unfair laws
no more of that I want
that to be banished!

World Letter
Jessica G.

I wrote a letter
to the world,
I mailed it,
and it swirled
in the breeze.
Whoosh! I didn’t blow it.

In the windy
afternoon, a boy
caught it. He gave it
to his mom and she
read it: To: The

My World
Jayden I.

Dear world that never wrote to me
please write to me

Stephen L.

World? Are you there?
I have a letter for you!
It says: Down through the
caves that have sticky

Hi World
Thomas M.

I like—your green coat

you are looking like you took the blue
pill are you asleep or sleepwalking

are we doing the staystill
contest—you’re part of mother

Ms. Beaudry, 2nd Grade

Dear World
Rebecca B.

Dear World, Your color
blinds me with your

Dear World, Your fight
has won. I thank you
for your life.

Dear World, I touched
you. World. Feeling good.
Your touch is

Dear World, You do
not end.
You go

Dear World, If a
planet tells you to
you don’t!

Dear World, You spin
I am not dizzy
you did, thank you,

Dear World, Every
day. Better.

If the World could write to Me
Isabelle D.

If the World could write to me—
I’d write back to it
with the words like tenderly—
It wouldn’t like to be ripped in bits—
because Earth is our only home
We have to treat it with care—
because if we don’t—
It will be dirty—
and bare

My Letter to You
Isla L.

My letter to you World is
about what you do. You
grow the tulips, roses, and
more. Your sand makes the
ocean floor. Earth, thanks.

When the World Got Its Letter
Madeline M.

The world got a letter,
on September twenty-third.
I simply wrote a letter

that no one ever heard.
I waited secretly to plant it,
to hide it, to send it, to
write a letter to the

world. The world replied
“Thank you.” And I sat
under Mother Nature’s
tree. Then relaxed and
fell asleep.

My Letter to the World
Amber P.

World, can you not burn out
so I can live here? So all my
family, relatives, and friends
can stay here. If you can, thank
you world. P.S. Can you please
read this carefully? I know—
the solution! We can just
treat our natural resources

The World
Ethan W.

This is my letter to the

This letter is not so cruel.

It provides and gives us
tasty sweet food

and is never really rude.

Ms. Schwartz, 2nd Grade

Lina C.

Hey world did you like to play?
Hey world did you like to dance?

Courage to the World
Chelsea C.

it takes courage
to ride a bike

it takes courage
to be in the dark

it takes courage
to jump off a

it takes courage to
do a hand stand

it takes courage
to walk on a tight

Alex G.

How you doing what are you going
to do? Do you have fun do you do cool things?
Looking good world. Do you do important
stuff? World you are amazing. You’re
awesome. World you’re nice.

Jakayla L.

What are you doing today?
What are you eating today?
I am writing a poem to you.
I am in Ms. Schwartz’s class.

Niziya S.

“Hi! World are you going to school?” No!
Because nobody likes me everybody hates me!
Hate! Hate! Hate! Hates me! And nobody loves me!

Mark S.

Dear World,
Thank you for the sun and land
and the lakes, rivers, and ocean and
water. And thank you for water and
fresh water. Thank you for a city
a town a village and community.

Ms. Ward, 2nd Grade

Letter to the World
Karsten E.

I am really good at hockey.
I would make everyone play
hockey. I would make people
go to prison if they don’t
play hockey.

Jalen G.

My letter no gravity
I’ve written poems
before mostly about
gravity no gravity
why because
you could fly I’ll tell
you when I’m ready

A Letter to the World
John K.

I would like to change the world
I want to add a city the city
would like one of only sports players because
I like sports

Alexandra M.

This is my letter to the world that you might
not see. It’s something you don’t know. I wish
I could have told you sooner but it was
too hard to explain. But if I told you sooner
you would not understand.

Alana O.

What I love
what I hate what
I want to say to
my friends. A palace
grows underneath my
heart and it is treasure
to my heart.

Aramis R.

I will grow plants
and vegetables.

I will make you rich.

I will make you the
most popular planet in the



“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.