‘Just too big to be loved’: Personifcation & the Lyric Form

This week…a lesson on Personification, giving human qualities to something non-human via the poem: A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island.  We took a look at Frank O’ Hara’s touching and somewhat mystifying poem.  Among the illuminating things that happen in  this text, our speaker engages in a conversation with the Sun. The Sun imparts opinions and wisdom to the speaker. It is a Lyric poem, one that reflects some of the poet’s own feelings. Over the years, many have discussed its meaning.

Lesson Note: To help spark imaginations, each student was given an image and invited to create a Lyric poem using Personification, to create voices/speakers/situations. In part, this exercise is based on The Poetry Center’s ‘Poet’s Look At Pictures’ call for submissions, where local writers were asked to respond to an image through poetry. Students were also encouraged to go with any other ideas might be sparked during the creating process.   Writer Nick Flynn’s is quoted as saying: ‘A poet’s job is not to play fast and loose with the facts of this world. [But rather to] imagine.”

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
1st Period

Nick L.

A while back there was a boy
he was a young boy
and he battled in the war.
Who would think, a war of worlds.

But the is besides the point
The boy was shot in battle
but he was strong and did not give up
The bullet had made a straight gapping hole through his hand

And when he was home in bed sleeping at night
the hand began to speak
it said, “You can save me, if you get help now.”
And “I will die eventually like everything but you can postpone.”

And the boy said, “I will do what I can”
Now the man has a boy of his own
who is hearing his story
And the man has nothing but a scar

The North Sea
Karen B.

I didn’t grow up near the sea.
It always scared me, it was
Just too big to be loved
Too deep.
Too unknown.

It was the peak of summertime.
All the college kids had left the college tour,
Leaving only tourists and young locals on day trips
To run on the rocky beach.
Slipping and laughing in the shade of the ethereal.
I had never seen that se before.
But it whispered.

“You have never seen me before,
But you will see me again.
Welcome to the edge of the world.
Everything lied beyond my shores,
The infinite universes that are waiting
to be found.”

“But for now,”
It says louder and laughs,
“You will stay
Right where you are.”

“You can stay right where you are.”

But It’s Raining
Ava G.

My dog came back into my room,
yet again
“Mac, I told you already
a million times!”
Then he gave me the puppy dog eyes.
My heart melted into them, slowly.
But I managed to stay strong.

“Mac, no…”
Then his motions seem to accumulate
a response for him.
the head tlt said,
“I’ve been waiting so long and I have to go.”
“Don’t you care?”

“Of course, I care, I love you.”
The way his eyes light up said,
“Then take me out
just a short might walk,
down the apartment stairs,
and through the likely and illuminated
center park.”

I think to myself,
“I would love to”
“I could use the exercise”
I look at Mac and muster the words,
“But it’s raining,

The Not-So Empty Can
Leslie S.

I arose in the morning with a bright smirky face,
Finally old enough to have my own place.
Walking up with a hunger,
just like when I was younger.
I head on over to the shop,
and buy all the food until I drop.

Back home, with bags in both hands.
I head over to the stove, to do my cooking plans.
Play some music, fry some beans.
I almost didn’t hear the little can talking back to me.

“Always throwing me out, without a hint of doubt” it stated.
“While everything else gets refrigerated.”
“I’m don with you!” I responded without a second thought.
“…besides most of that food is going to rot.”
It looks down in its moment of sorrow. And replies,
“I’m done with fake friends. Good thing for me there’s not tomorrow.”

“Now that I’m finished, I must be diminished.
I want you to remember, kindness is always and forever.”
“In a minute or so, you’ll forget about me,
cause society has taught me…
I’m not something to be dwelled on
for very long.”

And with that, he took his leave.
The dark little can, was dark once again.

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
3rd Period

The Ocean Speaks To Me
Allysa C.

As I dive headfirst into the water,
the ocean speaks to me.
I swim and swim and swim
“Stop swimming away from them”
it ways to me.
“Pay no attention to them
They swim no better.”

“I practice and practice and practice.
But I am still slower.” I tell it.
The ocean helps me move with the waves.

“Why are you helping me” I ask.
“you have the potential to get better
Just keep practicing,” it responds.

The ocean calms again
I think about what it said
I got up and started to practice.
Backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, free.

The World from a Standpoint on Separation
Mirabelle A.

What has this world come to I ask of myself
not expecting an answer
But one comes anyway
“This world is the essence of both city and ocean,
beaches and resorts not much green is left.”
“Who is this?” my head spins trying to find the
source of this voice.

This voice though,
does not come from a physical being.
It instead is in my head a voice that
only plays to the tune of my thoughts
“You, you are special,” this voice says again
this time I listen closer, “Always remember to
live in your own world, don’t clash yours with
others but stay in your head. ”

The voice reappears in my dreams, in my
life and my day dreams alike.
I cannot escape it yet, I seem so far
“This world is torn apart.” I say.
“Urbanism, resorts, commercial buildings where has our
world we once knew but how has gone
far gone?”

This time the answer is quieter
Each time I see a forest being cut down
or a building built on once beautiful
park land, its voice gets lost in the wind
The voice lessons growing quieter by the day.

Now today that voice is barely audible
All it is now is the whisper in the
wind, the whistling in the trees or the crashing
of the waves
Now I feel farther than ever lost in
the voices of the new world.

Fabric Intentions
Alexander Y.

Going through the fabric
Up and down like a life in a city
Busy and upbeat, and Alone and distrusted

Working day by day
Getting the fabric threaded together
As if it is two people meeting
And connecting as one

Meeting people day by day
Creating a dress to be worn
Until it gets stretched by someone wearing it.
Separating the bods like thread
Stretching fill it rips

Sowing, day by day
Ripping, day by day
Until all bonds are gone

Flocks of Birds
Fevzy G.O.

The birds,
they are leaving
Why is that?
Do they
not like me?

it is not
you we are
going away
from, but
the cold weather
that will
harm us”

The birds are
But why?
Why now when
they could have
done it a long
time ago?

“We believe that
you understand’
us, so please
don’t tell anyone
about us, or
should I say

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
6th Period

Ocean Waves
Kara S.

Ocean Waves
Cooling you down
From every hair on your head
To the 20 toes on your feat

Ocean waves
Wavy as the little girl around the corner’s hair
Wavy as those savory crinkle-cut fried I got from Portillo’s

Ocean Waves
The nostalgia of feeling the cold water
Splashing all over the place
While you’re playing with the grimy sand
Making castles, burning others, and finding sea shells

Ocean waves
to cool you down
From hot summer sun, stress, and school

Ocean waves
cooling you down
From every hair on your head
tot he 10 toes on your feet

Henry M.

The BMW M-XF-5 woke me with a roar
and I said “be gone BMW M-XF sport scar!”
and it told me “no you”

It flashed me and roars its V6 again as
I snored over and screeched “Shift” as it
yelled “reverse”

Water is Wet
Natalie P.

You drip, you drop
Thank you!
“No problem” the
water says. You
can talk.

“Of course, I can”
the water explains.
I help you, so I
should be able to
say you’re welcome.

Thank you. I have
and live thanks to you.
I drink because of you
So all i can say is thank you

Drip! Drop! Splash!
Thank you! One last thing
“What is that?” the water politely asks
Water is wet? right, I explain.
“Yes, I am,” and I thank you.
Thank you
“You’re welcome”

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
7th Period

Lydia S.

No other words to describe it

Water leaping
Splashing joyfully
It is like a beacon of light
The emphasis in the skyline

I feel powerful tonight
Standing upon a tall spire of rock
Surrounded by beauty

World peace
That is the motto tonight
If everyone in the world saw this place
Peace would fall upon the Earth
Dazed by beauty
nature, the perfect place.

The Dig of a ‘Lifetime’
Keith S.

So I was exploring the ancient temple yesterday,
when out of one of the halls,
I got spooked, but also intrigued, so I went to check it out.

there was an eerie coffin in the center of the main room
A slight glow radiated off,
and I removed the lid.

I started to turn but the voices stopped me.
“Really,. Don’t leave, I need some help here!”
“I have some dirt in my eye, cold ya take it off?”
Was I going mad? This guy was a dead mummy!”
He kept speaking, “Please?” In return, I’ll give you some advice.”

I complied.
Once again, the voice
“Thanks, One thing to say.”
“Being wrapped up underground really takes the life out of you.”
“Thanks again.”
With that, he consuled, stiffedn and fell. I left the temple.

Samuel O.

Covered with grime
But then will always be cleaned
Just to be submerged again

Worn down
Going every, straining day
to clean, right, write
Just to do it all over again

So nimble
So fast
Having the movement of shake
Never making a mistake

A prize given to man
Worn down
But beautiful in a way

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
8th Period

Ashley D.

Why these emotions?
Sometimes you want to go away
from friends, family, even all
and sometimes you want to
closer. Calmness is joy and
happyness. The water is calm
and makes me smile. Blue is an
amazing color. If only every day
can blue and purple and red and
green. all colors. all colors. but
blue is best.

Flower Field
Cam V.

Flowers span an open field.
Speaking inspirational things.
Red flowers span an open field, speaking of their beauty.

I run through the fields,
Watching the bees and birds fly by.
It goes on forever.

I never stop running.
the fields never end.

Finally I stop,
I sit down and smile.
and close my eyes to rest.

Little Cake
Ana B.

The vivid red strokes
on the pearly white cake.
It beckons me forward.
“Come have a taste, I
don’t mind.”
No little cake, I cannot.



“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.