Poetry Is…

Today we had our final classes of the residency. After returning last week’s work, I said that we would be doing something different for our finale, based, as some other writing prompts have been, on a particular type of poem. According to the Academy of American Poets, “From the Latin word for ‘patchwork,’ the cento (or collage poem) is a poetic form composed entirely of lines from poems by other poets.” We’ve talked (a lot!) about lines, but usually how they contribute to the poem as a whole, interacting with each other, carrying information through, for example, enjambment; in this instance, I asked the 4th graders to think about poetry itself—how it makes them feel, what they could compare it to—and put their thoughts and feelings into individual lines, making a kind of “poetry is…” list. When they were ready, they picked their favorites, which I added to a mega, multi-author poem for each classroom.

I had a fantastic time this year, with many eye-opening, mind-expanding, and insightful conversations. Thanks to the students for being so open and forthright, and to the teachers for all their support and invaluable assistance! Without further ado—here are the poems!

Mrs. Rupp’s Class

Poetry is creative and crazy like a painting.
Poetry is like a dog filled of orange juice with Koolaid mixed in and french fries inside.
Poetry is like a mechanical pencil with infinity lead.
Poetry is a meaningful way to express your feelings in literature which is free of rules.
Poetry is like watching TV, sometimes I use it, but it is very enjoyable and fun.
Poetry is like an ice cream shop; many varieties to have.
Poetry is like climbing a mountain.
Poetry is very spicy.
Poetry is a bee, it stings but it gives you a little something sweet.
Poetry is like screaming out all your thoughts.
Poetry is letting the bird of thought fly freely.
Poetry is like a song, you can change the tunes.
Poetry is another eye to see through, and even if you’re blind poetry can make you see too.
Like a cherry, poetry melts in your mouth.
Poetry is so exciting that it is like a rollercoaster ride in a theme park.
Poetry is like when you make the game winning shot in game 7 of the NBA.
Poetry is as true as a diary, it will never lie to me.
Poetry is like someone talking to me from England with a very thick accent, so I understand the language but it is hard to understand.
Poetry is a waffle.
Poetry is cool, I am no fool.
Poetry is as hard as riding a wild kangaroo without falling.
Poetry is like melted butter on warm toast.
Poetry is as hard as being a ward.
Poetry is like a big fat monkey.
Poetry makes you feel like you know how a worm could fly.
Poetry is everything.
Poetry is the caramel on my cake.
Poetry is the best.

Mrs. Carlson’s Class

Poetry is a way you explain you.
When poetry comes in, he tells you what you need to know.
Poetry makes me feel unique.
Poetry is _________.
You got to write your way, that’s the rule.
Poetry is as fun as Mr. Dean, we can read poems.
Poetry is like a dream of a god.
Poetry makes me want to write more poems.
Poetry is as nice as pie.
Poetry is the best, I love poetry, it’s a good thing to me.
Poetry is weird.
I don’t think my writing will end!
Poetry makes me feel like a hummingbird.
Poetry is like a smoothing massage.
Poetry has just took a bite out of my brain.
Poetry says no to sharding and eroding glowstone.
Poetry, go-etry, do some more-etry!
Poetry means everything in every way.
Whoever to, my words send a letter to you, and every word read is right.
Poetry feels like lying on the clouds.
Poetry is like ice cream—you can never get enough of it.
It’s like poems just walk up to me.
Poetry’s a joy to write.
Poetry is gleeful.
The trees dancing and the “pretty good.”
Poetry will take an eternity to perfect.
Poetry makes people express who they are and how they feel.
Poetry makes me laugh and I can’t stop laughing sometimes, and sometimes it makes me sad.
Poetry makes me not want to finish writing this poem poem poem, but since it’s the end, until next time when I can continue writing writing writing.
Poetry is as window wide as my eyes.

Mrs. Johnson’s Class

Poetry is like fossils buried under the ground waiting to be found.
It is as though a 1000 birds have been released and made peaceful havoc.
Poetry is into the papers and becomes a book.
Poetry is like if I was traveling to a wonderland.
Poetry is like a flower blooming, followed by a million flowers blooming.
Poetry is like a feeling you can do anything.
Poetry makes me feel proud, excited, and makes me work hard.
Poetry feels like a friend to me, I can pour my feelings on a page and label it as poetry.
Poetry is unexplainable and crazy and I like it.
Poetry is so strong and lovely that when a meteor hits the earth poetry is the only thing left standing.
Poetry makes me feel like I’m flying.
Poetry is as big as a giant dumpling.
Poetry is like you are on a roller coaster and it goes up and down, like there are ups and downs in poetry also good and bads.
Poetry is like a pineapple: the deeper you go into the middle, the juicier it gets.
Every sentence of poetry shouts out like donuts with sprinkles all over it.
Poetry is like yummy gum that you get to chew forever.
Poetry makes me feel like I want to keep a smile on my face for the rest of my life.
Poetry the magical thing.
Poetry makes me feel like I have a big brick in my brain stopping my flow of ideas.
Poetry is like a boring slope but on the other side it’s magical forest that you can feel and you touch a billion lights of goodness, challenging stuff explodes into your mind.
Rome wasn’t built in a day they say but the aliens sway like a boat saying oh oh human never know how far we could possibly go create.
Poetry is like a rainbow with all different colors meaning all different meanings.
Poetry makes my head explode with thoughts.
Poetry is a friend that is leaving me behind.
Poetry is like a ruler breaker.
Poetry is as smart as Mrs. Johnson.
Poetry is like homework because I like homework but not at the same time, it’s okay.
Poetry is poetry, I love it, some do, some don’t.
Poetry helps to think about your inner feelings.
Poetry is like seeing fireworks nonstop.
Poetry makes me feel like I am flying in the air.
Poetry makes me feel happy in different ways.
Poetry is fun, it is fun to do with my teacher and my teacher is fun to do poetry with.
I could read poetry all day and really wish Mr. Dean could stay.
Poetry is poetry sometimes fun this is the end of my poetry I’m done.

Mr. O’Brien’s Class

Poetry is strange, confusing, funny and sad but it has links to the human brain that makes you feel weird and want to do out loud but you can’t because it does it inside.
Poetry is like a big cookie I ate.
Poetry is like writing a picture.
Poetry is cool, if you say no you are a fool.
Poem is poetry.
Poetry is as amazing as somebody playing a video game smoothly.
Poetry is fun ’cause maybe one day you can brag in someone’s face.
I think poetry is like a dragon coming out and seeing its mom for the first time and shooting fire.
Poetry is a strange way of writing and literature.
Poetry is as crazycool as Ethan raging so hard that he broke his keyboard.
Poetry is as if I go and see the Cherry Trees, like I see some roses and fuzzy bumblebees.
Poetry is as cool as Cedonnis thinking he is the best at Fortnite.
Poetry is like FlyOrDie with no end to its fun just like space, FlyOrDie never loses its fun and interest.
Poetry is like a rollercoaster, the ups and downs, the twists and turns.
Poetry is like a trail of hope that is infinity.
Poetry is like when you’re sick, they are the first person to make you soup.
Never give up until you grow up.
Poetry helps me learn the meaning of words.
It brightens your mind and makes you happy with what you have done.
Poetry is as wild as Ethan raging, when he smashed his keyboard.
Poetry is like a 100,000,000 billion shrimp tacos.
How you play on your iPad, how you can play as you can tap as you write.
It fulfills you on your darkest day, it lightens the day with its words like droplets of heavenly sun.
Poetry is entertaining, you keep on reading and writing poems.
Poetry makes me feel calm and relaxed and tired.
Poetry is like a tiger rising out of the sun.
Poetry is like falling from the Empire State Building.
Poetry makes me happy, it keeps me alive.
Poetry is as cool as a dude riding a dragon.
It makes me happy when I’m down, or when my head’s up in the clouds.
Poetry makes me feel good.
Poetry is like flowers blooming in the spring time.
Poetry is as breezy as the wind, carrying ideas far, far away.
It lets us take a break instead of doing work.
Poetry is like swimming: sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.
Poetry is like a Fortnite win.



“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.