Hats Off!

After reading James Tate’s viciously, sly poem, The List of Famous Hats,  students crafted their own poems about clothing and historical figures!

Lesson Note: Tate’s poems have been described as tragedic, comic, absurdist, ironic, hopeful, haunting, lonely, and surreal. Tate said of his own poems in a Paris Review interview, “There is nothing better than [to move the reader deeply]. I love my funny poems, but I’d rather break your heart. And if I can do both in the same poem, that’s the best. If you laughed earlier in the poem, and I bring you close to tears in the end, that’s the best.”-Poetry Foundation

Mr. Telles, 9th Grade
Period One

Theo G.

Sweatshirts in history are few and far between.
I don’t think Abraham Lincoln lounged around the
White House in his favorite sweatshirt. But in
recent years we have seen a rise from Rocky
running up the steps to The Dude bowling. Now
the sweatshirt transcends all social class. The
one trashy ubiquitous object. The sweatshirt.

Delphine P.

Shoes play a crucial role in the lives of
many, including myself. However, I will not proceed
to talk about the 200 pairs I own. I own about
five pairs of shoes, no two alike. The ones
that have the most wear are my best pair.
My boots. Dramatically contrasting black and
red color to the extremely tall platform these
shoes make me feel confident. I’d wear them
anywhere. School, home, formal events, hangouts.
When I wear them I see the world on another
level, not just because they make me taller.
I feel like I am reaching my goal of
making who I am on the inside appear on the
outside. Too bad I broke them.

Mr. Telles, 9th Grade
Period Five

Isabel V.

Everyone knows Acrylics
The loud, long nails
People say ‘ratched’
or ‘obnoxious but I think they
make people stand out
Natural nails are so boring and plain
short and dull
The acrylics I wear are long and pink
they sparkle in the sun and snap at everyone
But deep down my nails are covering something
more than my natural nails
I know it’s covering up me
who I really am
Maybe down below I am just dull and pink

Chelsea Boots
Tamara V.

My Chelsea Boots
give me height
and power
A statement so simple
yet so loud
I can be seen
warn down I still
wear them
just like a superhero
wears a cape
I wear these boots.
Dark brown, black
or tan I love them
all the same.

President Harry Truman
Aidan S.

‘Do you regret it?’

‘Regret what?’

‘You know what I
mean, Harry.’

‘Oh I-uh-I’

‘How do you
dream, Harry?’

‘Well, that’s the
incident is always in my
memory, uh, keep in mind.’

Harry begins to cry.

‘I always remember’

Suddenly Harry points to a photo
of Nazi Berlin
‘Am I just as bad?

I don’t answer.
-Harry stands up and
begins to leave but

‘To your question before
you don’t want to see my dreams.’

‘Thank you
Mr. Truman, ‘I say.

In his old age, I can hear
his can beating against his leg.

‘He is too human,’ I think,
‘Too human.’



“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.