‘it serves us’: Tablescapes

A common household object became the focus for this lesson while studying Joy Harjo’s poem, Perhaps The World Ends Here.  The poet James Merrill once commented that ‘we understand history from the family around the table.’

Lesson Note: Harjo’s work is often autobiographical, informed by the natural world, and above all preoccupied with survival and the limitations of language.

Ms. Ruan. 7th and 8th Grades

At This Table
Yiling Wu H.

At this table we talk,
chill and be happy.
At this table we play,
challenging video games.
At this table we share,
interesting and exciting story.

At This Table
Simin L.

At this table we meditate
Listening to calm music chilling and feeling very joyful

At this table we play
Video games enjoying the challenge

At this table we talk about funny
Interesting things

At this table we eat
Delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Ms. Wright, 8th Grade

The Day Begins Here
By Z

The day begins here at the dining table.
As we talked with each other. Laughter comes from their smiles.
Watching the TV on the wall. Hearing plate break. Arguing.
Drawing on my notepad. Hearing music from my headphones. Feeling happy.
Daydreaming. Falling asleep.

Nhylan W.

At this table I always have to stay but I always want to play.
But some of my family members don’t like to play cards
because most of the card games are hard.

Ms. Wright, 8th Grade

Halene L.

Life is around the table,
where we tell fables.
A once upon a time
would pass through the table.

Spring would come,
families would run
along the new memory lane
a new dawn begun.
It’s insane,
how alive
the table
is once again.

A Table with Memories
Zoey L.

At this table, I say to my mom, “Your cooking is unbeatable. It is the best.”
She smiles. My heart warms. The food travels through our stomach.

I hum, at this table, with my mouth full of food. With satisfaction. With content. I needed this moment, I needed to be
at this table.

My phone screen fills my eyes some days.

Other days, in my hand, my iPad clutched.

I let out my pent-up frustration
at this table
with my friends on the other side of the screen.

At this table, my life is beautiful. It is relaxing. It is enjoyable. At this table, time does not matter.



“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.