Know Your Arches!

Patricia Lockwood‘s poem called “The Arch” made for interesting discussions last week. After hearing it read aloud, I asked who was speaking—the poet, or someone/something else? Is personification being used here? We examined the first stanza, with it’s opening, “Of all living monuments,” and I asked if anyone could define what monument means? Places of historic interest or importance; we brainstormed a list of some of the ones we could think of offhand, including the Lincoln Memorial—Lincoln is mentioned in that same stanza, “no Lincoln lap for [facts] to sit / on”—Mt. Rushmore, and Statue of Liberty. Interestingly, that latter monument seems to be the focus here, as when Lockwood writes, “Was a gift from one city to another,” mentioning Paris, in the second stanza, since France gifted the statue to the United States. But what about the title? The word “arch” repeats throughout the poem, and certain students realized that it must be a reference to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, another famous monument. As we wrapped up our discussion, we thought about the image of an arch, and how it was reflected in the poem, especially in its closing lines.

For their own poems, we looked back at the last lines of the first stanza: “Here is what / I know for sure,” and students were asked to write about what it is they know for sure.

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

Here Is What I Know For Sure:
Arjun A.

1. Poetry is awesome!
2. Thor is awesome!
3. Pigs can fly!

Brian C.

I know for sure all animals
have cool features. Some are tall
and some are small. Some are
carnivores, some are herbivores, and
some are omnivores. Some are
very hungry and some are not.
Some live on land, some live in
the water, and some live in the
air. Some swim, some walk, and
some fly. All animals die except
immortal jellyfish.

Nicholas C.

I’m for sure that I
am in pain that I make
a chain in my name when I
on the plane with my
mate it is good when I
would make a change in the
world make it sore no
more care be fair don’t dare
or swear.

Nasir L.

I know that the average
infant has 300 bones. Also, an average
child has 270 bones. A bottlenose
dolphin can leap about 8-12 feet out
of water. Bottlenose dolphins can be underwater
for about 2 hours maybe 30 minutes.

What I Know for Sure
Daanya M.

Here’s what I know for sure:
I am not sure what I know for sure
I am sure I am not sure what I know for sure
2 + 2 = 4
I know that for sure.
I am sure I love my mother first
I am sure I have a sister
Or two
I am sure I am writing a poem right now
That I am sure of
I am sure that I am sure of this
I am sure this poem is sure is sure about
being sure I am not sure what I know for sure
Do be sure that I am sure I am not sure
what I know for sure
Sometimes you’re not sure I’m sure
Sometimes I’m not sure I’m sure
Sometimes we neither are sure
Sometimes no one but one is sure
I am not sure that you think I am sane.
I am not sure I’m sane

Eleanor M.


Tristen N.

I know poodles
don’t live on
the moon
I know 1+1=2
If you don’t that
means you failed
4 grades

Nhi N.

I know for sure
that you have to breathe
in order to live

Everyone knows that.

But if there’s no air…

Anushri V.

I know that I don’t know anything

but I do
know I
am now
out of paper.

Mrs. Rupp, 4th Grade

What I Know for Sure
Emiliano B.

Do I know for sure
the secrets of my school
the rules and things with gears and springs
and teachers who always drool

I know for sure things of my school
with cruel and a not cool idea
some teachers are sort of decent
while others are diarrhea

I know for sure that what I know
is too many
I know too much but say not enough
but you might ask “can he?”

I know lots and lots with tater tots
and know my brain is pure
for those who know I’ll never keep low
for what I know for sure.

Ray H.

Here is what I know for sure:
we can fly
we can sleep
we can eat
we can walk
we can speak
we can drink
we can read
we can write.
That is what I know.

I Know
Atia L.

What I know
right now I’ll say
out loud

I’ll say it loud
for all the crown

What I know is
for sure and
there ain’t
no cure

What I Know
Xibao Q.

I know what
I don’t
I don’t know what I know

I know what I shouldn’t
I don’t know what I should

I know what I can’t
I don’t know what I can

I know what not to do
I don’t know what to do

What I Know for Sure
Tlaloc R.

I know ice cream tastes good.
I know this pencil is sharp.
I know this poem is weird,
I know tunnels are dark.
I know this poem is really random,
I know random is good!

I Know
Matthew W.

The river beneath
the river beyond foresees
the vibration of
the fall below, I know what
I see what I do what I don’t
to know the skies below,

the Head of the widows the sight
of the
come to know
what I know because I know

Rachel X.

I’m while writing
can I think I know?
But for sure!
I know crazy shrimp-pies
and fast moving feet
for sure do I know
butterflies and hummingbirds.
Love in sureness
sureness in love
I love my mom.
For sure do I know
that can I do
other than that.
Crazy kangaroos flying
moon and all
not but one
but one for all
for sure do I know
I know this well
for sure do I can
see that this poem
is ending right now.

Ms. Travis, 4th Grade

Avni B.

What I know for sure

is that for
there is
a cure.

No matter what happens

friends will

they will always

What I know for
that your B.F.F.’s will

all you have to do is
along and


What I Know
Sienna B.

I know is Math. Math is Math.
I know I can achieve every
goal I make. I know I can
be successful and do my
best at every worksheet I get.
I know I can have my dream
job. I know reading is reading
and it is fun.

What I Know for Sure
Elle C.

I know I am 10 years old.

I know
I love pasta.

I know
I love to travel.

I know
I have a lot of friends.

I know
I love to read.

I know a lot about me.

Trust Me I Know
Madeline S.

I know 6×4=24. I also know that people do
their best to make things…!
I know that a+s=as. I know superstition. I know
April, June, July, August, September, October,
January, December, and February, and May, Novem-
ber, and XX.

I know water. I know Olive (friend). I
know THINGS, and Netflix!

What I Know for Sure…..
Brielle S.

Ice cream is good for me

I do not like ice tea!

And not a single pea!

Candy is also great

Also says Kate

Cream is good too

It makes me want to moo!

My sister says I’m cuckoo.

Am I?

I also like PIE!!!!!!

What I Know for Sure
Leila W.

I’m sure that one
day the world will
end. It will end
with flames
and where
go. There will be fire.

But. Then. You. Get. Caught.

Caught by Daisies.

Mrs. Johnson, 4th Grade

I Know for Sure…..
Aarvi A.

That Mrs. Johnson is the best, best (best 100x)
teacher, I have many enemies, friends, but I am
positive sure I have the best parents.
I know for sure that I go to the best

I Know for Sure…
Brette B.

That I have
A book.

Austin C.

What I know is I went to the
combine and I play football
and life is short and long also
I know I’m 9 years

I Know
Emily S.

I know there’s problems in the world and I
can’t keep ignoring it
I know no one’s perfect
I know I can’t do anything to stop it.

I Know How to Write for Sure!
Ashlyne W.

I know how to write for sure
if I didn’t know how to write I wouldn’t
be for sure or maybe it’s mixed up I don’t
know but I know for sure. When I wake
up in the morning I know for sure
I’m tired but if I wasn’t sure
I was tired I wouldn’t have fell

Mrs. Oluewu, 4th Grade

What I Know for Sure
Aidan C.

What I know for sure
is that I am an apple,
because I taste delicious.
You can’t say I’m wrong,
because you can’t prove it!
I am an apple!
Yes, I am! You cannot deny it!
please don’t eat me…

I Know…
Nika M.

I know that dinosaurs are real.
That they are green and blue. That they
are still somewhere.

I know 4 sure
Leila S.

I know 4 sure

That I 1 the race.

My friend has that shirt 2.

I 8 the apple.

I wrote with numbers


What I Know for Sure:
Maya S.

This is what I know for sure,

I will always have family.

I will always have friends.

I will always have knowledge.

I will always have belief.

I will always have dreams.

This is what I know
for sure.

John S.

Here’s what I know for sure

My friend is going to get eaten
alive by our teacher and have a

conference with parents.

Stop Me
Luke V.

Here is what I know.
The moon is red the
sun is blue you love
mountain dew now stop me
from annoying you but
I won’t so that’s it or
will I. 5 min you left
cool wait

I’m Sure! Or Maybe Not.
Thomas Y.

I am sure I have no eye balls.
I just stare at real walls
when I want to see
all I see is an imaginary bee!



“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.