Fast Forward

Last week, we read John Yau‘s “Something to Look Forward To,” and right away students recognized the use of repetition—not just words or phrases this time, but whole lines! What was especially interesting was how the mixing and matching after the second stanza changed both the poem’s overall ‘meaning,’ as well as meanings from stanza to stanza; so rather than looking for it to tell a story, we analyzed its parts and considered how they might be working together. I explained that the poem was written in couplets, and we thought about how having two lines together works both visually as well as thematically; how does the pairing up of lines create ideas or concerns in the poem? One of the most arresting lines is “Don’t worry about being perfect. Just make sure you have some juice left in the pump.” I asked if perfection is possible, and what the second part suggests? Students were also curious about “history’s bags of sumptuous soot”; how could black powder from burning something be thought of as magnificent or expensive looking? Students related this to another line, “Before you decide that you are nothing more than a clump or splatter,” and having a positive self-image. By the time we got to “the palm trees on the horizon of your future” we could see the poet commenting on how we (should) think of ourselves; but of course, realizing a course of action is not as easy as acting on it.

I noted that over the prior weekend, Daylight Savings Time had started; with the poem’s title in mind, I asked the 4th graders to think about what they were looking forward to, and write about it in their poems.

Mrs. Brown, 4th Grade

Sonia F.

What to look forward to?
Go to the moon? No.

Go to Bora Bora? No.

Get a win from the lottery? Maybe.

Go on my computer? YES!

I know

My Fav Day
Sarah L.

Today is all about me getting my
favorite things are on my favorite
table getting my favorite lunch breakfast
and dinner my favorite friend
asked “What is the day?” My birthday.

Looking Forward To
Caitlin N.

Something I’m looking forward to?

I want to travel around the world
traveling to the great high seas

To travel to history
for I might write one too

I want the wind in my face
can you catch up to my pace?

The beautiful world
so much to see

For this is where
I want to be

Nathan S.

I am looking forward to going
to Duke College, and living my
whole life, and going to the
NBA with my bestest friend ever
Gianni M.

Future the Not!
Samantha W.

Future the it’s like looks it though even! (look backwards!)
Looking at Myrtle Beach!
Looking at amusement parks!
Looking at Summer!
Looking at a sibling!
Looking at chores.

Mrs. Johnson, 4th Grade

Showing It Out Loud
Sophia K.

Having it in my mouth just
keep it there. Windy city
will be gone beaches here
I come. Sail across
the sea, still not
Mom sings a song
listen but don’t tell, still.
Go to a birthday tell
no one still.
The next day I tell
and everyone happy for
me. Only ten years old
and silver on my teeth.

Robert P.

I want to be a
soccer player when
I’m grown up and
I am going to be
on the team Italy that
is what I am looking
forward to.

I Am Looking Forward To…
Charlotte S.

I am looking forward to
meeting my old best friend.

I am looking forward to
my birthday get present.

I am looking forward to
going to church on Sunday.

I am looking forward to
having group piano lesson.

I am looking forward to
having my own private class.

Looking Forward To
Sunny X.

I woke up
and noticed a change
everything is candy!
Candy, candy, candy!
I went outside
and when I’m back,
my mouth is full of
candy, candy, candy!

Mrs. Rupp, 4th Grade

Darwin B.

I have never
actually been there
but you can snorkel
there is wifi and
you can swim
with the dolphins
sooo, I am going.

Looking Forward
Allison C.

Looking, watching closely
for that one day
on the far horizon

Looking forward
to the future
time slows down
thoughts speed up

“What will I do”
“What will I say”
looking forward to that one special day.

Looking to the Throne
Celeste D.

My mother is the queen
My father is the king
I am the heir
I will be on the throne
in one decade
I will be waiting.

Mireya L.

2 of the best things
in the world.
2 of my favorite things.

Both have birthdays in
Both coming up in May.

Bandit my pup-pup.
Angie my soul-sister.
Both birthdays in May.

Looking Forward
Frances M.

Today I’m looking forward to
sleeping on the stars
tomorrow I look forward to
capturing rainbows in jars.

Next week I’m looking forward to
swinging on the moon.
Two weeks from now I see myself
catching sunbeams in a spoon.

A month from now I’m dreaming of
soaring in the sky.
Next year, oh, I don’t know.

Looking Forward:
Imade O.

I am looking forward to
summer break for one reason.
I am going to California to spend
time with my family that I haven’t
seen in 2 years. We have a family
reunion every other year and this
year we are going to
Sacramento, California.
We are going to have
so much fun. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flash to the Dream
Nyah T.

Like a flash of light I was there
My dream
I was the star of the show

In the spotlight
Everyone cheering me on

I was not perfect
But no one is

I’d like to stay in my Dream

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

Sebastien D.

I am looking forward to getting all A’s.
I am looking forward to my birthday.
I am looking forward to getting better as basketball.

To Look Forward To
Tvisha H.

I am looking forward to

my grandparents and cousin coming
my sister’s birthday
my friend’s birthday
5th grade
my birthday
maybe more
6th grade math in 5th grade.

Angelina H.

In my head, in my bed
I see my old smiles
at the door, wild.
Familiar place for a neighbor.
Bell clanging for labor
with people I carry.
But I am trapped
it’ll never come.
A story is over, now for a real one.

I Look Forward To
Max K.

I look forward to going
and I
get to
have fun!

Alessandra R.

I cannot wait for my
can’t wait to see my cake!
Also my friends

Writer’s Block
Andres R.

I look forward to being done
with this poem. It is kind of poetic
writing about not knowing what
to write.

Noah R.

I’m looking forward to the future
where they will hopefully make
a time machine. I want to see the
dinosaurs and my family that died
before. I hope they can make a
time machine.

Noah S.

As I land into Europe,
I hop into a car I zoom
past houses and into Rome

I go and see my cousins
I could see the old gladiators
that would fight here in my

Looking Forward To
Kinzie W.

I look forward to plopping
down on the big brown
couch. Switching the
channel, and
eating chips.

fun and do-
ing as I wish.
It would be the
best day ever! In
my history of best days.



“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.