I, Object

After a week off, we were back for our second session at Skinner West. This week’s poem was “The Pen” by Jean Valentine. Among the various issues discussed in classes, we noticed the poet’s use of personification, as well as her playing with blank space (in the line, “And this pen                 its thought”) along with punctuation. What does the space signify? Why is it there? And why, for example, did she choose to end the poem without a period, question mark, or exclamation point—in other words, not end it? The powerful imagery in the poem suggests a writer caught in mid-thought, pondering putting words on the page, so the open-endedness of it feels appropriate to the uncertainty (and possibilities) of the writing process. Whether thinking about its individual stanzas or the poem as a whole, students had lots of ideas and perceptions, contributing to some quite thoughtful conversations.

Pens are the kind of thing we use every day but don’t always pay close attention to or appreciate. For their own poems, students were asked to write about a similar object(s) of their choice.

Ms. Kawa, 4th Grade

Jacqueline B.

Some can be big,
some can be small
usually, I like them all
I think of flowing
jumping through them
but sometimes it changes
they turn gray
they fall apart
water drops falling
then, I fall

Taylor C.

A board game like Monopoly.
A board game like Pop It Race.
They both need one thing called . . .
Sure a dice is a multi-use thing
From games to bidding to making something fair
It’s like random cubes falling for a number

Erasing Mysteriously
Daniel D.

Erasers erase
they erase day and night
side to side
up and down
never stopping

They are the
’cause they make
writing disappear
in thin air

Who knows
how they work

Who knows
what they are
made of
it’s all a mystery


Turtle Carving
Lucia G.

I was alive,
in a tree,
my leaves came out
my fruit plump and ripe.

Then they came
my beautiful sun
kissed tree
toppled down

I was carved,
and polished,
and carved
lining my back

I was bought,
put in a box,
taken far far away
from my home

I am loved,
I am kept,
will I stay
I am not sure yet

Amy H.

such a simple thing.
Softly rubs our skin.

such a simple thing.
Keeps us warm,
for the day.

Many clothes
to choose from

every day.

Daniel L.

The bright, soft, orange fur
that sleek physique, the dark stripes
those gleaming claws that wait.

The boy who leaves the bus
who walks toward his house
he opens the door, says “I’m home”

And is struck by the tiger and the boy
engaged in fight

The simple toy, the violent beast
the two good friends

The sleek fur tangled
the clean hair dirty

The boy and the cat

A Key That Opens a Home
Noah R.

A key
to a home
that isn’t mine

A key
that doesn’t open a door

An old skeleton key
that should open a door
but doesn’t.

A new key now opens up
a house
the house
my house

A key that opens a door
to a home that is mine
but also not mine

A key that opens a door
not anymore

Ms. Nelson, 4th Grade

The Eraser
Grace A.

Mistakes not fixable in
but on paper
everything was erased
spinning with thoughts
but can’t get them

What Else Could You Ask For?
Taylar B.

A little toy that makes a big difference.
Super soft, super cute.
What else could you ask for?
A little toy that changes your life.
Keeps you safe while you sleep.
What else could you ask for?
A little toy that has different varieties.
Oh, what a great idea.
What else could you ask for?

The Safety Pin
Hareen F.

The safety pin, breathing on the floor
definitely not doing its job
which is to secure

still on the ground. Its mouth wide open
shining silver and ready to bite anyone
in its way

then I stepped on it
and there was red stuff oozing down
its teeth

I had learned my lesson for that day
to never leave a safety pin’s mouth
open, revealing its teeth

The Globe
Amal H.

The globe is nice
The globe helps
The globe calms me
The globe is big

The globe tells me things
The globe tells me where
to go

The globe can tell me when to
run away

The globe is my best friend
The globe is my globe

The Quill
Ibi H.

The effortless writing
Swift and flexible

The ink as black as
The sky

Don’t rush as the
Quill may break

It takes you into a
Swift fairytale

Never stop looking
You might mess up

How you seem to creep
In your dreams

Wake up

Skylar M.

A small object that I like is my iPhone
it’s like one of my favorite things on earth
it is like my social life. And I have the
iPhone 11 I really want the 14 but
the 11 will do just fine.

Video Game Controller
Ryan P.

Video game controller
windows into different worlds
tools of entertainment

items of wonder
devices of power

Sophia S.

A paperclip connects
things like friendships,

paperclips sometimes break
not connecting anything,

paperclips sometimes feel
cold or warm resembling how
I feel

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

Teo A.

Time is forever and never.
Time is something you can’t hold but
can have.

Sometimes it’s with you or it’s with

It is in arm’s reach
and miles away.

Lucky for us we all have it and
we love it.

The clock.

The Sail and Sailboat
Max F.

It needs the wind
it can be fast or very slow

it has a sail
it’s made of fiberglass

it has many choices for sails
some are made out of plastic
some are made of oil

The Sticky Note
Elodie G.

I have an idea
an idea that might
just or not be my great idea

I jot it down
not wanting to lose my
precious treasure

my thoughts that might
change the world or not
I can’t forget

Later I check on my
ideas and that one
little thought, I might not
have taken to notice

—I didn’t think much
of it then, just an idea passing through
but now, now I know just how
to use it

my sticky friend that
keeps my jewels my darlings
in mind ready for later

The Baseball
Garvit K.

A lot of people use it
Maybe even you
We hit it
We throw it

Best of all we have fun with it
A sport depends on it
And so do people

So to be good with it
You have to sync with it
And then you will be good

Imagine the baseball
Hit the baseball
Throw the baseball
And have fun!!!!!

Aslan K.

Drawings can be anything you want
There are infinite possibilities
You can do any style you want
Ot a kind that doesn’t exist yet
The choice is up to you
No mistakes
Just happy accidents

The Couch
Liv M.

It’s heard many things
Good and bad

It’s felt many things
Good and bad

It’s seen many things
Good and bad

Cold warm
Hard soft bouncy

Tears blood wine
Although it hasn’t said a word

Times it’s been through
Good and bad

Places it’s been
Good and bad

Antanas N.

A computer,
A very complex thing

More and more wires,
It helps you learn
It entertains you

Many people have it,
But some, they don’t

Nice and bright can
Help you see

Bigger text helps you read
Smaller text you might not need

You can use it for fun
Fun that is not in the hot, hot sun.

It may be costly but some
Are not.

So that is a computer,
a thing that won’t rot.

Anand S.

A blank paper in front of me
I don’t know why but it reminds me of something

It looks like nothing, but it is everything
One object and an infinite amount of possibilities

It stares in my soul, trying to see deep inside of me
All I see, a blank paper

But it is everything

Lamont T.

I take a sip from the water bottle
it takes its time pouring on me

the wind pushes me by itself
it will take me by itself

Ms. Lyons, 4th Grade

Nylah B.

Butterflies are cute
and beautiful
I love the colors that they come with
they communicate with people like they’re human beings

Nishka B.

This is my stuffed animal.
His name is Gecko.
Does he love me?
He sleeps with me.
Does he love me?
He snuggles with me.
Does he love me?
I don’t know
But I know one thing
I love him!

The Globe
Oliver B.

It’s a sphere of the world
A geographer’s dream

Full of fake mountains and beauty

A nice trip could be seen
Though it might change it’s still earth.

Justin H.

The red stripes
The white ball

I hold in my hand
I see more closely

The red stitches
Keeps the ball together.

I now know.

Money Is Not Happy
Thano H.

Money hits your bank account.

Goes up and down like happiness
and sadness.

You purchase luxury houses and cars.

Your money is sad because you
weren’t careful with your money.

Rocco S.

Books, books, books.
I love their looks.

Dr. Seuss ones have lots of nooks
that read cook books.

Ms. Makris, 4th Grade

Jellyfish Light
Aaliyah A.

I love my jellyfish light because it looks
like they are real jellyfish, and the light
changes colors.

It feels like I have a real
desk pet and I trick everybody who sees

Taha K.

My mother’s keys
Laying on a quartz basket

My mom says not to touch them
But they pull me closer every minute

I watch her open the door
But I want to know too much more

So I grab them one night
And I see an amazing sight

All the world
Covered in white

Oh, a Pedometer
Athena M.

A pedometer is useful
like a thermometer.

It is used for
tracking the amount
you are running.

But, don’t
You could
cheat by
shaking the pedometer over
and over.

It is a small
that you can attach to your
pants or hip.
Oh, how I
adore a
are super useful!

Think About Pens
Ayushman S.

This is a book that I can
read about pens.
I am super brave about pens.

I can write with my pens.

Can I draw with it?

Of course! I can!

I can do everything
with a pen.

I can write words
with a pen.

It’s better than a

Elizabeth S.

Long teddy
Black eyes

Crying before my might
And holding on tight

I use my eyes
Not my words

Trying, trying, before I get hurt
It’s a small thing

Nothing rude!
But something that will make me
Go back too troot.

Brenda S.

Covers, paragraphs, phrases, words, and images
flowing through your mind like a gentle

Your love, your hate, it has no emotions
but shows it as you read.

It feels like a dream, showing
physical, or visual imagery.

It could have positivity or negativity
it could have both

the words, running through your
eyes, like a heavy wind blowing

and maybe some day, you’ll
fall in love, and read it again.

Pure Life
Janiyah S.

Pure Life it’s like
real life don’t be
sad you have to
drink water be happy
water is healthy water
is good for you
be happy you drink



“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.