“I Roll. I Roll, roll, and roll…” – Persona Poems!

For our third session, Washington Elementary and I dove into other worlds with personification. We’ve been focused heavy on metaphor and descriptive language; to round out this section of the residency, I wanted to think about how we’d describe a world that we’re forced to imagine. From cheetahs to plastic bags to pencils and more, I had an absolute blast reading through the poems this week!

To give some perspective to what kind of personae we can take on in poetry, I presented two very different poems this week. One is “Borders” by the visceral Denice Frohman, who follows the life and struggles of a Latina that comes to the United States. The other is “In a Too Small Kitchen” by the dynamic Sam Mercer, who embodies the Hulk in all of us that gets aggravated trying to get an omelette just right.


I hope you enjoy these persona poems from Washington Elementary’s 8th Grade class as much as I did!


Group 1

“Being a Bag”
Asano L.

I am a bag. A
bag flying in the wind.
I see everyone’s house if
the wind takes me high enough.
But if there is no wind, I’m
just laying there, waiting for
the wind. After waiting, I say
“Screw you wind, I don’t need you!”
and I roll. I roll, roll, and roll, and roll
to New York. All the people here
don’t seem to notice me. Then the
wind picks up. The wind blows me
away, all the way up to the
Empire State Building. I yell,
“STOP! Please! That’s too high!”
but the wind doesn’t listen,
it blows me up all the way
up to the top and I see:
all the other bags up there.
About 100 bags stuck on the roof.
The wind puts me on the antenna
thingie and I am now stuck too. Now
me and all my brethren see the
wonderful sight of New York, while
I think to myself, being proud, to be a bag.


Christopher F.

I can smell the blood from a mile away
I come swimming so fast they don’t even see me
They see my fin and run and scream “Sharl”
But I still come in fast, and they run out the
water right before I go for my first bite
I swim away and look for my next pray
I see a school of fish, I come in fast once again
The school of fish see me, they swim fast
away but I am faster
I go in for my first bite, I am


“The Block 37 Building”
Sumaya T.

As I watch the cars go by, I get bored. I choose
to watch the people now, The very different +
unique people, watching what stores, buildings, +
restaurants they go into. I listen to all the noises.
I figure out what it is or where it comes from.
The Block 37 building has a theater, stores +
restaurants + I’ll sit there and wish I could go
to the theater part more than once a month.


Group 2


“A Dinosaur”
Zhorrin C.

Wake up, eat my daily meal: another dinosaur, and go back
to my home, go back to sleep. And when I wake
up again, go back to where I ate my first meal.
Then I would finish it. I would go and eat
some human, but not that many, because I don’t wanna
get shot. I would find a secret lab that they are animal
testing and find what they are using, eat the liquid,
grow bigger, then go back and go to sleep.
Then I will get killed by a meteor.

The End!


“If I Were an Oil Paint”
Nadya F.

If I was a new oil paint, I would be a clean hue
My cover would be sparkling clean
I would be taken out to new adventures, too
Over time I’ll be running out
Over time I’ll be covered in different paint
Although I’m only one tube of oil paint I’ll be able to create
New creations.
I’ll make my painter mad when I don’t work properly
Or proud when they make something impressive
I’ll be taken to different landscapes.
I’d be mixed with solvents to activate
I’d be applied on different paints and palette knives
I’d sink in, into different canvas and paper
I’d take hours to dry
Although it’s great to be an oil paint, I’d rather be a…
No, I’d rather be a person.
I’d see how it’s like to work with myself.


“A Butterfly”
Lisayra F.

I’m a butterfly
I have beautiful, big wings
I can fly and explore.
People like to admire my wings and try to catch me.
I try not to damage my wings.
I do not like when people provoke me.
Being a butterfly is hard.


Group 3


“Cloud Lives”
Adiel P.

I sit very high
All the way in the sky
I’m big and puffy and white
I can be grey and maybe drop rain
Many don’t like me when I’m grey
I just flood all around
I try to turn to shapes and I do
Hoping maybe, I get a “hi” or “bye”
Nobody cares, nobody looks
How do I stay puffy and white
When everybody just passes by
So I turn grey and now they look
So I get confused they don’t look when I’m
A shape, or just puffy and white
But when I’m grey, all the eyes are on me


“Being a Lion”
Sacramento D.

The wind blowing against my face as I run,
it feels pretty good,
But what’s going to be better is this
other lion that I’m about to eat,
Then I sleep.

I think to myself,
good thing I’m not a human,
no school and nobody telling me what to do,
But I kinda wanna play video games,
And that watermelon looks pretty good..
So does that fried chicken.

Now I’m thinking,
Would I want to be a human?
That’s a hard question.
If I was, then I could have all those foods!
But I won’t have all this freedom I
have now..

I’ll be a human.



“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.