Object of My Affection

For our second poetry class, we read and discussed Jean Valentine’s “The Pen.” Before hearing it read aloud, I asked if it looked different from last week’s poem; students noticed it was composed in couplets, but even more significant was the third stanza: “—Who taught me to know instead of not to know? / And this pen          its thought.” We wondered why Valentine chose to begin one line with an em dash, then include blank space in the middle of the next? We considered that maybe the space was for an extra-long pause, or where the “thought” goes. As far as other punctuation, the lack of a period after the last line creates the effect of the poem not ending. We also addressed Valentine’s use of personification while moving stanza by stanza through the poem, interpreting its possible meanings.

A pen is a small and useful object, but not all objects are useful; we may just like them for how they look and/or how they make us feel. The prompt for students, then, was to write about an object.

Ms. Yim, 4th Grade

Out of Staples
Nawfal A.

A staple is
a staple coming out
of a stapler. Once you run out of
staples—you can’t clip things
together, if you—————
—misplace a staple

will have
pull it out. Once
you run out of staples
the stapler

becomes useless
these two—staple and


The Hair Clip
Reem A.

A hair clip is a small
useful object that some of us use

every color every kind some
are shaped into a butterfly

The ones that are shaped
are one of a kind

A hair clip is useful
for your hair

The Water Bottle
Hiba E.

The water bottle.
My water bottle.

Covered in stickers
from head to toe.

Its brand is Contigo
halfway with water
halfway with air.

It is purple everywhere
handle to hold in case
you’re on a trip.

The Pencil
Alex L.

it’s rolling across the
dark, loud

you gaze into
the sky looking, at the stars

it’s useful and great
you never know what it thinks

it sits on your desk
waiting to be used

it thinks about the desk
with the violin on top

waiting to be

The Moving Keys
Aubrey M.

They make noise
they sit there

when you borrow one
you use to get in

and out so you breathe
fresh air that you need

you get when you move
to get in and move

you can lock up homes
to stay safe

The Teddy Bear
Sana P.

I love my teddy bear.
When I’m sleeping at night I am sleeping
with my teddy bear.
My teddy bear’s name is Pinky.
I was playing with my Pinky at summer in a park.
My Pinky likes strawberries.
My Pinky likes toy cars.
I love my Pinky.

The Pencil
Elysia T.

They helped me write
this poem

My pencil is very

It has an eraser too
My pencil is very

Like every other
it is made out of



“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.