‘like still want to live’: Tabled

A common household object became the focus of 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.

“I feel strongly that I have a responsibility to all the sources that I am: to all past and future ancestors, to my home country, to all places that I touch down on and that are myself, to all voices, all women, all of my tribe, all people, all earth, and beyond that to all beginnings and endings. In a strange kind of sense [writing] frees me to believe in myself, to be able to speak, to have a voice, because I have to; it is my survival.” -Joy Harjo.

Ms. Taylor, 9th Grade
Period 1

Madeline C.

The eating table, somewhere I sit at every single day since I was
6 years old. Long gossip talks with my friends. Talks with my
family about how my day went. Witness arguments with my
parents. Eating with my sisters and just laughing at whatever
dumb things we do.

My Table
Dianh J.

In my table.. there’s always many thunderstorms.

There’s no day it won’t stop raining.
The sun barely comes and when it comes it only lasts
less than 2 minutes in this table they were many many
wars which made me Warrior.

In my table, there’s always rules, that have to be followed.
If they’re not then, destruction…Todo se cae…
People don’t my table, we barely eat in the table.
There’s never good company, just darkness. It’s
always lonely. In this table there’s nothing…

Perhaps the world ends here because the
beautiful forest runs into wicked forest.

Erik K.

I have a table that is made out of glass,
at this table, you are capable of gaining mass
On this table, you can be on your phone,
but this cuts you off and you’ll be alone.
At this table you’re able to speak, and
because you speak you’ll reach your peak.
The one thing that the peak is, is
spending time with family and opening a can of coke
that’s full of fizz.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
Period 2

Maggie D.

Worlds live in this table and only here. Women and men’s lives, only existing
here, on the table.

You will never find these histories in a book, the heroes in the legend. The
closest one will get tis the Documents & Paper. Strews about like
the frantic, unorganized minds of my friends.

It is shaped by words and dice, on this table. Some dyes are
my friends. Others, they are mine.

I place a slip of graph paper down, and a festival erupts. People
of many places & the smell of turmeric, erupt.

The realms at this table are full of danger & awe, out somehow, our
heroes avenge, with the assistance of the polymorphs on the table.

But the table belongs to neither of us. It belongs to the shop.
You may say the shop makes worlds- you would be correct.

The places of a world we sold, there, yets, it is up to us, at
that table to them any meaning.

Liv G.

Everything happens at the dining room table.

The table is the eye of the hurricane. Chaos is everywhere
until that dinner bell rings and everyone sits down. We
all join together and the storm seems to stop for those
40 minutes.

I throw my stress at the table. The lines on my forehead
turn into scratches on the table; leaving the memories
from hours of homework spent there.

That table is gone now. I almost feel like the memory
went with it. A new modern table replaces the old
batted one. I hope it ‘ll be the new eye of the hurricane.

Our Table and Stick Legged Tables
Maria B.

Our table is a container. It has food and a
build in perch.

Their tables are big, with no built-in perch and weird shapes.

Our table has food and it’s right by the door
Once we had water, but it got dirty.

Our tables move around. One 2- stick creature takes
it when the food’s gone. But we have water.

Sometime later, we get it back. And it has
more good in it. Sometimes different flavored.

When one of us is out the door, the other
one goes to the table to ger her. Usually her.

Sometimes we eat by the outside, near the glass,
and that 2 stick creature beings it to us.

There is a new table we got. Perfect to chew
and it’s by our house. It’s big.

The table holds our sweet food
Oh, one table holds our sharpener. It’s good
for our beaks.

Our tables are better. Their tables are weird.
That 2- sticked creature keeps our table clean
She likes us.

Gabriel F.

Life is like an eating table with each meal
being what’s happening.

With each course, we bit in one’s

Some courses taste really good
Some courses taste bad.

but we’re still looking for the next course

We still want to eat
like sill want to live

Ms. Taylor, 9th Grade
Period 5

Theresa G.

A place where memories begin,
uncomfortable conversations are born here.

A place where you go to assure that you are civilized,
Your last resort.

Where children hide under its surface,
told not to bring toys to dinner.

It’s a place where you say Grace,
hands lock uniting you.

It’s a lonely place,
teardrops fall into your food.

A place where there’s two,
not large-a broken picture.

Where you share the sorrows of your day,
secrets roll off your tongue.

A place of silence,
the things that need to be poured stay hidden inside.

It’s a safe place,e
Where you inhale sweet memories

A truly open place,e
where you exhale your heart if you dare.

Inhale. Table. Exhale.

Audrey C.

Memories of writing short stories, singing long tunes,
practicing to draw, eating hot food and burning
your tongue.

Regrets of fighting with my parents and sister,
all too proud to say sorry.

Pictures of teary eyes family, thinking about
the memories that could’ve been made before it
It was too late.

A waterfall of emotions, life, and death
held at a small wooden table.

Soon, the table will be given away, to make
new memories.

Neala R.

The table with four legs
supporting our troubles.

Through thick and thin,
It stays strong.

The table with four legs,
supporting out love.

The babble of our days
weigh the table down.

The table with four legs
supporting our food.

The joyous tostadas
that brings a family together.

The table with four legs,
supporting top.

But that is not all
for there is much more below the surface.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
Period 6

Andrew A.

At this table
Everyone is here
Stains from babies spitting everywhere
Laughs made into a big song
Game night shoots a victory of anger
Punishments, groundings, and spanks
Fresh baked pie, steaming in the air
Work, pen maks everywhere
Kitchen bowls after bowls of cereal
Love, roses set in a vase
Embarrassment, ear hot red
Famly. That’s it. Family.
Goods and Bads, bullying
Bullied, catching up
At this Table is Family.

School Table
Abby S.

This table is one that every student knows
The place where naps are taken and where pencils
are stolen.

One person only can sit at this table, but every
child has taken their place here.
Creams come true at this table or are crushed before
they can even begin.
It sits forever in one place, yet the table is in every
family’s home.
Children have sat at this table before it was a table,
when it was a bench or a dire floor or a tree in the woods.

This table has been here since the start of time, and
it is immortal.

Dinner Table
Liv S.

This table brings good and bad
This table brings laughs, smiles, and joy.
This table brings memories and life
I love this table.
This table brings screaming, crying and anger.
This table brings breaking glass and everything
I never wanted.
I that this table.
But I need it.

Ms. Taylor, 9th Grade
Period 7

Monserrat M.

The world begins at a dining room table
where I hit my head and stubbed my toe.

At a table, we’ll eat.
When the holidays come we’ll feast.
So, I’m waiting for family to
come eat!

Brooke C.

The world begins at a coffee table where I hit
my head and stub my toe at that table.
Many gatherings happen. We laugh, talk, gossip
games. You never know what might happen
just go with the flow.

Time and Space
Dejah S.

the world begins at a coffee table
where I hit my head and stubbed my tow
this table is where I sit and wait
I get directed at this table
It’s like the staple of the house
you can have a flat-screen t.v., but
not kitchen table
you can have a table with not family
to sit around it
and where the last supper
was formed.



“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.