Oh, Guitar!

Personification is when you treat non-human things as if they were people. “The weeping of the guitar begins” opens Federico Garcia Lorca‘s “The Guitar,” and one of the first questions I asked students last week was why is it crying? Lorca’s poem is so evocative that we came up with a number of possibilities, such as it could be hurt or damaged, it could be lonely, or perhaps the person playing it is singing a terrible song! We also discussed how water or wind could cry—what would that sound like? And why does the guitar weep like “arrow without target / evening without morning”? The 4th graders also puzzled over the poem’s concluding lines, “Heart mortally wounded / by five swords.” What could those “five swords” be? Strings? Fingers? Something else?

Here are some examples of the students using personification in their own poems.

Mrs. Carlson, 4th Grade

Julia C.

The guitar is weeping.

So are the people.

The guitar is weeping.


the song of badness.

are ringing.


The man is horrible.

At Night
Jonathan C.

At Night trees awaken and dance
At Night traffic lights eat grass
At Night building prance around
At Night snowflakes come found
At Night all is safe and sound
At Night computers play with Marty
At Night everything has a party.
At Night Trump goes to bed
At Night the pencils are fed
At Night I’ll be safe and sound,
At Day I’ll be kicked in the face.
At Day I’ll be beat in the race.
At Night all is safe and sound
Trump is nowhere to be found.
At Day everything is harsh.

Isabelle D.

The orchestra begins to cry
The lonely notes become years of fear
Heavy, sad, fearful notes played
Oh, the orchestra!
The swaying players
The melody of the flute
hits me

Oh, orchestra
Killing the robin
the bird that wakes me
The owl shall join
This melody

The story stands still
hypnotized to its heart

Oh, the orchestra!
The instruments
that send love

Taylor H.

I have a stuffed animal
his name is Winnie
I know he has feelings
because he is Winnie

I can feel his good energy
and bad energy
I know when he is sad
when Winnie gets a patch taken off him
I know it hurts him
I love Winnie
Winnie loves me

You might think his name is just Winnie
it’s not. He is a person just like you
because he is Winnie the Pooh.

The Puzzle
Aadi K.

The pieces
of the puzzle
weeping to
be reunited.
They were
once torn apart
in pain & agony.
Their heart
and mind broken
into misery. Some
pieces have
been reunited
others begging
to be. Their
lives were
torn apart.
Then they are
once again reunited.

Carter M.

I, the War started another War
I, I see arrows fighting against bullets
I, I see who’s going to win
I, Nurses know they have no chance

I, Shreez!

What, the war is over!

Mrs. Rupp, 4th Grade

Tai C.

The crying of a
snake he got kicked
out of his house. He is
thinking about how he is
going to make a living
now. I have no car
so now I live in the

Thy Car
Alijah C.

Thy        mall              to              air
car         where           get            check
moves    it                   a               and
alone      finds            rest           an
nobody   a                  so              oil
driving  car                the            change
it.            an                car             then
Thy        old               can             it
car         one               be               competes
wants    to                  fine            in
/             be                 tomorrow a
needs     exact,          let’s            F
some      now             see              1
fuel        thy               what          car
to           car’s             happens   race
keep      driving        tomorrow. where
it            itself            Then          it
going.    to                 thy             wins
Thy       somewhere car             gold
car         let’s             goes            medal.
wants    find             on               End
friends  out.             to                of
so           Thy            auto             Auto
it            garage       parts            Matic
goes       thy             it                   Car
to            car             needs           Test.
the         drives        an

Nathan D.

My dreams are there but not quite.
They reach for me or they stand back.

I’m falling in my deep sleep a branch
catches me.

The paper and the pencil write
me down along with the history.

It smiles it frowns.

It’s real
It’s not

My Shoes
Aamira H.

I have two shoes
every Saturday I wear
them here and there
I lose them
they are alive
to me they speak
when they are in pain
when I accomplish something
I am a friend to them I
am a friend to them

Sandy K.

The violin smooth
as silk. If it wants to
it can be cold.

Soft if you can.
Cold if it wants.
Just make it

Make it happen.
Differences. Loud and soft.
Soft and cold.

Differences in


My Phone
Anson L.

It talks to me
it plays with
me I

who knows

we have life

but we don’t      life for deaf

The Piano
Maura S.

With every key the chime
is higher.

And every note keeps
my fingers going.

every step is to
the end.

It will keep singing
its happy song
and ever
and ever.

Mrs. Travis, 4th Grade

Alex G.

It likes to bounce
It likes to dance
It likes to play
It likes to stay

It likes to clap his hands
He likes to clap
And at the end he likes to show off

T-Rex Disco
Marshall H.

I was digging in the dirt and
found a T-Rex fossil and it started
doing the disco.

Evil Sock
Maddison L.

My socks came

They started

I told them to stop

They didn’t they said

I’m not going back on

I asked it where it is going it said

Anywhere but here.

Onix L.

Hello my name is pen

my life is good I live with
7 no 8 pencils and 2 erasers
and 2 crayons I get carried

I love to write you finally get
to see my writing because someone
uses me to write. My friend (neighbor’s)
name is what I just went to ask

oh this is my favorite song
is “I have a pen I have an apple
uh! apple pen. I have a pineapple
I have a pen UH. Pineapple pen
I have a pineapple pen, apple pen
uh! pen pineapple apple pen.”

Jakayla L.

Teddy came alive
my sock came alive
my door came alive
my bed came alive
my ball came alive

Pencil Case Goes to the Spa
Leilani R.

Hi I’m pencil case I’m going
to the spa

Here I am at pencil case
spa getting my pencils done


Warriors vs. Cavs
Chris W.

Game 7 of the Warriors vs. Cavs game.
20 seconds.
The score is 127-129 Cavs are winning.
LeBron brings the ball up.
He shoots a crazy half court shot.
It almost goes in but the
rim moves itself out of the way.
The rim gives the ball a jetpack
and the ball launches itself
down the court and makes a buzzer beater.
The whole team goes crazy.

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

Phoenix G.

I use a crown like it’s a leader and has
an army. He is like LeBron because he is a
king of basketball. He plays for the Sacramento Kings

Jalen G.

I take a bull like personification.

Balin N.

My desk is holding on trying
to break out of his prison. It is going
to do anything to get out of his prison.
Textbooks, books, and paper. Do anything
to get out of this prison. It says “Help!”



“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.