Make It Up!

This week, Hale’s 6-8th poetry club students ventured into the world of nonsense in poetry. One of the coolest things about writing poems is the ability to create new words, phrases, or even languages to capture what’s hard to put into plain language. We have spent the past few months together reading poets who play with language and the senses in interesting ways, and this week was no different. On Tuesday, we read local Chicago poet Jose Olivarez’s work “Hecky Naw” and chatted about how the title phrase wore several different hats in the poem. After a quick “Armani Suit” Google search detour, poets wrote drafts based on words or phrases that were considered to be made up. Check out a poem based on a student’s word, mophy.


By Yeya R.

The weather today was mophy

The calm, lonely feeling filling my heart

Unfortunately though, the color gray seeped into every little corner of my room

Leaving me to be the only color left


Mophy spreading my brain like a disease

Filling my lungs

To my stomach

Until I am mophy itself

Until the notification on my phone

The person

Is mophy

My bed

Giving me multiple different emotions

But the current


Swallowing me whole into a pit I’m all too familiar with


On Wednesday, we learned the meaning of synesthesia with the help of the poem “Synesthesia in Orange” by Cathy Carlisi. We talked about how the poem spoke to our different senses in new ways, and many agreed that birthdays do feel like the color orange. Poets then wrote about their own favorite colors and combined the senses to describe their love for their favorite hues.

Sounds of Brown

Ash S.

Nightingale brown

the simple sound of the old chest in your attic

the feeling like copper rubbing against you

the rust scratches you

it looks like the sting of a cold shower

water turns red

tastes like the screaming down the hallway

the feeling of eyes

sound of sobs

Nightingale brown



“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.