‘I/ wanna be the places.’: Travel Poems

We took a look at Richard Blanco’s prose/mix 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

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 2

Samuel C.

If I were to go to Paraiso Lindo
I would like to see The Lindo
Hotel and the 3 mile stretch of
a white sandy beach. Snorkeling
would also be something I would
want to do. I would want to
try everything. Or I would want
to go to a beach or something
but we can’t because we’re busy.

Chris V.

I’m not going to Africa because the wind was too strong to board the plane.
I’m not going to Africa -Not Arriving in Johannesburg, where
you are met and escorted to your hotel. I’m not going to go in
search of an elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard, and all manner of wildlife,
birds, and plant species as sold in the brochure. If I was there, the first place
I will go to Madacasgar and go watch all the animals that live there and enjoy
if I went to Africa, I will try my best to see all the animals that live there, but
there are too many and I can’t do what a shame. I wanted to see Uganda and Rwanda in depth.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 3

The Canceled Trip
to Maya
Marissa R.

In Mexico, only 30 minutes
from the Cancun international airport!
433 luxurious Junior Suites, spacious
living rooms, breathtaking effect. I’d be
drinking Maya juice, eating Maya
food, having fun in Maya. Adopting
Maya animals and staying at a Maya
hotel. Can you believe it? Unfortunately
I couldn’t go because of my fever. If
only I had a fever in Maya that way
I didn’t miss it. My family left me
sick and having the time of their lives.
Imagine me being in one of those
5 pools, playing water sports, or even
playing golf. So many things I can
be doing but instead, I’m here at home
in bed by myself being sick with no
24-hour room service.

Xiomara S.

Including inside visits to all highlights
of religious and ancient
Rome, the brochure says, only if
we could go. All the places we could
go to and all the things we could
do. Every morning a nice breakfast
and during the day, we could
go see Michaelangelo’s Pieta, back
to the early 13th century and
still has the original 14 towers
all the buildings filled with
beautiful sunflowers, maybe
I can ride a horse or get on
a carriage, all the pastries and
tempting stores, or may I
can get a tour for the Roman
legions who march in triumph,
but we can’t go because we
have school and sports, the
thought of eating bread or
their tasty food makes me want
to go, even more, we can’t, maybe
just a taste of their food
we can’t.

Matthew C.

Because I got sick I was told that I can’t
go to Iberostar Paraiso Lindo hotel which is 30 minutes
from Cancun International Airport. You know I planned on being sick so I can miss scuba diving which I’ve never
done and just sit in bed sick doing nothing. 24-hour
room service is not what I want and have to
get out of bed to get fed.

Mrs. Strus, 7th Grade

Brandon B.

because I’m grounded I can’t
go…The thought of all the
animals in Madagascar. Exploring
the wilderness. I see the
Gondar. I believe the times
are medieval. ‘A Camelot of
Africa’ as it’s called. What if,
I flew to Addis Ababa.

Omar J.

We don’t go anywhere
and I don’t know why.
We barely go out of the
state. I wanna see other places
but my parents always say
‘We aren’t going.’ I always
get that response when
I ask if we can go
somewhere, anywhere. I wanna
visit the beach, see the
waves and the shore. I
wanna be the places but
‘We aren’t going.’

Viviana G.

Active volcanoes the brochure said, as the words set in I was devastated. That’s
why we couldn’t go to Hawaii. What a bust! I could’ve
been in Hawaii right now and explored lush
tropical gardens, waterfalls, exotic wildlife and
artwork. I could’ve learned so many things.
Learn Lei making, hula or the ukulele
without ever losing sight of the sea. Oh
Hawaii! Oh why! For all I know I
could’ve escaped to this beachfront
oasis known for world-class golf.



“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.