‘I am a pattern of the wild’: Emily Dickenson Etc…

We began this class with an exercise from writer and researcher Dr. Brene Brown’s book: Braving the Wilderness. In it, she asks a group of 8th Grade students the difference between the terms Belonging and Fitting In. Our informative discussion segued into the Emily Dickenson poem, I’m Nobody! Who Are You? Students were then asked to experiment with iambic trimeter, tetrameter & dashes as Dickenson did. They were welcome to explore the concept of belonging if they so chose.

Lesson Note: Dr. Brown defines belonging as “an innate desire to be a part of something larger than us.” She goes on to say that our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self acceptance, and that being ourselves sometimes means standing alone.Fitting in is not the same as belonging – in fact it can often be a barrier to it. One of the most poignant parts of her book is when she quotes groups of middle school students who came up with their own distinctions between these two concepts.

Ms. Tayor, 8th Grade
1st Period

Chris H.

To talk to one can be fun
To listen is to be free
This is how it should go
You should not have to plead.

Martha R.

It’s funny how so many want
so much to be like those
who twist and turn their very minds
to fit inside their clothes.

Dylan C.

The Midnight
The click the clack brings me right back
of good nights and sweet dreams
To those long hours both sweet and sour
I slowly grab a snack.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
2nd Period

Beila C.

The soundless crunch that your footsteps
make when you walk into
The peaceful forest that lies in
the little kid in you.

When someone else walks into your
forest you say “Hello!”
With kind spirit you welcome them
and sweet wind starts to blow.

Ice Cream
Skylar P.

The sun beats down on me so hard
and sweat falls down my head
I grab a cone and plop a scoop
“No fear, its free” he said.

Maybelle S.

It’s always there when you’re happy
Even there when you’re not
You can smile without your eyes
So that fake smiles are brought.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
3rd Period

My Way
John S.

I’m loud, I’m wild, not silent
I follow my own path
I do not need to conform to
I don’t care what they do.

Gabriel M.

How to be shy is truly key
How funny can you be
The name is what is important
For me identity.

My Fish In a Tank
Flor M.

My fish are in a prison tank
A dark yet was small case
A living by the Chicago lake
Never seen a free place.


Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
6th Period

Ryan A.

I wont be held back anymore
I have not time for you
Cuz now your just dragging me down
It’s time to start a new.

Milly M.

‘Tick tock. Tick Tock’ recites the clock
Midnight’s arriving soon.
Go to bed and rest your head
and don’t wake up til noon.

Lily D.

the dog wants to be out All Day
he waits for his owner
the owner does not want to play
he will finds friends instead.

Oliva N.

A girl with brown hair
Who hates to sit alone
She wants to be held close
being with friends makes her smile.

At home she clo…ses the door
only to lay on the floor.
Covered in blank…kets she is at peace.
to close her eyes and fall asleep.

Christina B.

Me, I am a pattern of the wild
an arguing baby, a whiney
child. But some-times be-guiled.
Si-lent, in awe. Pride lost for now.

How ev-er, I care, I really
do. When not ang-ry or re-bell
-ing, I am pos-iti-ve too. Me,
the joy-ous, the kind-ly the one.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
7th Period

Nick C.

I belong in time of past
A time which wont return
A decade century perhaps
But time will take its turn.

Ashton N.

Identity is who I am
My traits foolish yet smart
I am foolish for one reason.
Don’t speak brain, I speak heart.

Its hard to tell who you are
The soul has no mirror
Frustrating not knowing yourself
It is my only fear.

Isabel M.

Belonging is comfort with friends
Acceptance with out change
No doubt of yourself when with them
No need to re arrange.



“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.