‘go in search of crocodiles’: Travel Poems

We took a look at Richard Blanco’s prose/mix/hybrid poem about missed destinations, We Are Not Going to Malta. Students were then given travel brochures exhibiting lush locales (decidedly not always depicting reality), and asked to create their own poems about wanting to go somewhere, but being unable to. Some students included actual lines from the brochures to juxtapose their imagined locations. See if you can pick them out!

Lesson Note: ‘In the course of my engineering duties…I began writing inch-thick reports, proposals, and lengthy letters to clients and permitting agencies. Consequently, I started paying close attention to the way language worked to organize my thoughts, argue a point, or create a persona, noticing the subtle yet important differences between writing “but” instead of “however” or “therefore” instead of “consequently.” I discovered that language had to be engineered in a way, just like the bridges and roads I was designing. It had to be concise, accurate, effective, and precise – the same terms one might use to describe a poem.’–Richard Blanco

Ms. Hooper, 6th Grade

We Aren’t Going to Newfoundland
By Emi N.

We are not going to Newfoundland, I hear once again. Not to my favorite musical home, or the place with magnificent mountains, sweeping vistas, and colorful wooden houses, even though I would’ve visited Gander, Appleton, and Lewisporte, because of the promise of dramatic landscapes, incredible hiking, and outdoor experiences, and the warmth of the people. We’re technically Come from Aways! I would’ve sung the songs and we could’ve climbed all the mountains and jumped off the falls, I heard some areas are ringed by mountains, and with plenty of green spaces within its boundaries, and I wanted to see the chunks of ice that can be as massive as a cruise ship are as beautiful as any art sculpture, each with a unique shape and size and colors ranging from pure white to deep aquamarine. If we do, we’ll be Newfoundlanders.

But we’re not going to Newfoundland, since the Covid cases are rising again.

We can’t go to Holland
By Maxwell L.

Because there is a terrible storm. Says the pilot on the airport intercom dream as for I am missing a beautiful country full of flowers I would like to pick after I went to the state park to enjoy the nature and beauty of this fabulous country after I ate the cheese from the cheese markets they are known for all before I would go back to a peaceful house where my troubles would flash away before my eyes as I enjoy the sunlight and beauty of this country. Oh I wish.

Costa Rica not
By Samuel L.

Sadly I was informed this somber day that I would NOT be going to Costa rica due to the plane not existing. How I would miss exploring the lust forests and stunning waterfalls. Maybe if I went I would decide to live there and use the exhilarating ride on the longest canopy zip line in Costa Rica. Everyday I would visit the world’s largest butterfly garden with over 100 beautiful hummingbirds and at night bid farewell to paradise over a wonderful dinner. One day I might decide that birds are not for me. If this were to be the case I would have to go in search of crocodiles, river otters, sloths, river turtles, exotic birds and rare butterflies.

Ms. Walsh, 6th Grade

By Daniel P.

We aren’t going to Michigan,
My parent’s car broke down
If I did go to Michigan,
I would do everything,
I would visit the Kalamazoo valley museum,
I would hike in the enriching national parks,
I would sit and devour a gyro from a diner in Alpena,
And after all that,
I would cruise across the lakeside of Lake Michigan.

By Pareezeh D.

I would want to go to santigiao, but my parents say we must finish our studies.
I have a huge urge of staring at a coastline over 2,650 miles long.
With all the fresh smells of the air and water, I would love to see chile,
where its 10 times longer than it is wide. With the prices as high as it goes,
it would be still an amazing sight to show. A four-day trip to see
the landmark statue of the Virgin Mary where it nests at San Cristobal Hill.
With the most beautiful view to see, knowing that It is one of Souths America’s most sophisticated and modern cities. Wondering where to go if I could, maybe the to the Chilie’s, where is scenic capital lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes. Only if I really could go to Santiago any time, any day, to see the wonders that fulfill my game days. Maybe a four-day trip with a private tour, specifically for me and my family.

The Michigan Trip that we are not going to.
By: Romeo A.

On the Michigan trip, we could have kayaked at the beach or lake if we had not gotten in trouble at school. On the Michigan Trip, we could have snorkeled on the beach underwater relaxing and not being bothered by anybody.

Ms. Collins, 6th Grade

Ireland no more
By Zoe M.

We are not traveling to ireland this year, or ever again
The prices are to high they say my mom and dad regret say
As my dreams
But wait
What if we went to Ireland?
Wuld it be my new home?
Would walking the rocks of giants causeway tour draw me to where I REALLY belonged
Would I spend a day on Achill island with its soaring cliffs and beaches explain to me
The place I’ll call home
Will I becme one of the authentic Irish dancers and travel far and wide
With all the money I earn from this tour will I buy a ride
A boat?
A Yaught?
A Plaine?
Oh I can’t decide
But were NOT going to ireland
So my River Cruise with amazing landscapes will have to wait
But I’m NOT going to ireland
My parents CLEARLY state

What about Europe?
By Leena H.

Because of travel prices, we CANT go to Europe
I can only imagine
I could have swam in the bright, clear, blue ocean
If only
I could have had a sweet chocolate croissant
I could have looked at the beautiful architecture
What if i could have walk to shopping malls in Europe
If only I could have gone to Europe



“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.