Michiko Alive Twice (pt. 1)

This week we were looking at Jack Gilbert’s “Michiko Dead” to dicsuss imagery and similes. The whole poem is the image half of a simile Gilbert has created about his wife, Michiko, dying. Li Po has called imagery, and Robert Haas has paraphrased it, as “like being alive twice.” I find this poem the quickest way to get at what a poetic image can do, especially for young people who have maybe not yet thought about imagery in poems. I ask them to make a list of the most important things that have ever happened to them and then to write a poem where they only use imagery or a simile to talk about that event.

Mrs. Asvos
7th Grade, 2nd Period

“Mother’s Death”
Tiffany T.

My mom’s death is like a species dying
There’s only one of them
Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever
The rare species can live a better life
Now that they no longer need to be hunted
By the scary hunter going after them
But now, no suffering is needed for them

John. K

Like a iron sword
Stabbing its way through the unfortunate

It’s like a 50 pound weight
Pretty much impossible to lift

So many kinds
So many killed
Brutal and horrible
Sick and twisted

Dead and death
One by one

Sadness grief
on top of each other

Nothing happy
Nothing good

Only bad
Only sad

Cancer is…
Cancer is horrible

Terrible and cruel
It’s like a dictator

Controls the week
Kills the strong

Only the lucky survive
So I guess I’m lucky

“Walking First”
Payton K.

I’m moving as a baby raptor would. Awkward at first, unsure if it can make it. When it trips, it falls and cried. THen it gets up again and tries again. Once they develop they are formidable hunters.

And it all started with the first step.

“Together but Knot”
Maria K.

The tangled wad of
enjoyable fun is stuck
and will not budge

The string feels like its
been crumpled up and
frozen in solid into sludge

It will not move but
I’m ok with that. I’m
happy how it is

When the time comes
they will still be one
and never leave each
others side.

“Moving to America”
Yuan O.

Moving to America is like being a little crab. When an old shell has become poor & unfit, a rand new shell is there waiting for it. The crab will stay in there until the crab has passed its time & a new crab will take the shell.

Mrs. Asvos
7th Grade, 3rd Period

“I Learned to Fly”
Bella W.

Learning to fly is like falling
Something right before your eyes.
Looking again it disappears into a new picture
Standing on a cliff ledge in your mind the wind howls
Jumping off the air sails past you a jet turbine blowing in your ears.
Nothing to grip and falling towards the ground until
Invisible wings open and stop the fall only
Sometimes you soar back up against the wind and
Sometimes you land back on the ground.

“Visiting South Korea”
Sunny E.

She managed like the sea meeting the shore
for the first time, new sights, new sounds.
Instantly clicking. The high tide coming in,
from many lengths away. Meeting then,
leaving at low tide,
washing back with fond memories,
only to come back another day.

“Brother Love”
Megann L.

This person like
a GPS. Guiding
me to where to go

This person like
a GPS telling me how to drive

This person like
a GPS showing me
the route to life

The person like
a GPS loving me
through the never ending



“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.