“Remember” by Joy Harjo was this week’s selection. After hearing it read aloud, we wondered who the speaker might be—the poet, or someone (or something) else? One of the first elements of poetry we learned was that readers should never assume the speaker in a poem is the poet who wrote it. There were many ideas regarding who the voice might belong to: a higher power or God, a parent to their child, an elderly person to their younger self, etc. We also examined Harjo’s employment of repetition and considered its effect. If the title word was excised, how (if at all) did it change the poem? Was its flow or rhythm significantly altered? Did its meaning change? As always, we had many wonderfully deep discussions.
I asked about some of students’ earliest/clearest/strongest memories, as well as the emotions associated with them. Memories were the focus for this week, either personal or imagined, through characters or using personification.
Think Jolin C. Think hard and long. When you took your first steps. When you saw a bird or book fall from the sky. Think of all the wonderful things you did to your dad. Like a pie in the face. When you won your first Grammy Award. That award that you added to the other 28 you own. Think about your life again. Our Human Memory Sky H. Think of what you remember, always think of it. Some memories are good, some are sad or scary. When you think of something all the time, you get used to it and keep remembering. So, did you forget it? Usually, when you think of something constantly, you just can't shake it off! Just remember, our human brains are good at paying attention to stuff that we like. Our human memory is growing the same rate that you grow up. There is always room for more. I want you to just remember. Japan Sota M. I remember a long time ago I was in a hot place with sushi and ramen where I lived. I don't remember if it was a dream or not, but it felt like one. I want to go back in time to figure out where it was but I remember where it was my home, Japan. Memory Days Justin S. I have memories at times that I don't want memories to happen like how when I was 6 months old I lost a Mickey Mouse toy and found it 3 years later oh how I have love for memories! Remember Me Naomi T. Look into the air it looks like a square. Close my eyes and let me dream. It's not as bad as it seems. Pack your bags we are going four then later, we will do more and more. Remember life and you will be alright. Remember it'll be a dream. Reliving the Past Horatio W. Memories I want to see again memories to live again hopes to see my best friends from a different world I wish to know how to go back to the land lost in my head Fake friendships false worlds yet all still so real To see my friends from long before
Untitled Andrew D. I remember the big blue skies filled with many butterflies. Then one came flying up to me and then it sat on the sidewalk right in front of me. Memories Sascha G. Memories. We forget and remember them. Fun times bad times. Old times new times. Sometimes we can't process these. Some are golden and some are bronze. They can be about ducks in a pond. I have memories, they open my mind with golden keys. I'll even have a memory of this poem. I will remember my classmates, all of them. When I get old I will show this poem to my teacher if told. Memories are big and bright. Memories creep into my mind all night. The Memories of My Life Elodie L. When my cousins come to Chicago from New York we have fun and talk. When I go to New York to visit my cousins, we have fun sleepovers and talk all night. Life is a beauty and so are memories. When I go to Wisconsin for a hockey tournament we go to an arcade and waterpark. We have so much fun. Fun is good and good is life. Remember Yourself Noah M. Remember when you would break a toy and cry until you got a new one. Remember when your brother forced you to play catch with him and you would always drop the ball. Remember when you woke up to nice weather and pick apples from your apple tree. Remember when you lived in California. Live a Memory Clark M. Life is a thing that is long but it takes a place in history. This poem is history, life, something to try new things. Step by step you have and do things. Life takes it in have a blast run to new places. Untitled Marissa R. I have a memory about my cousin doing a funny dance to me and my mom. The dance made me fall out of my chair cause it was so funny. Then my mom started laughing at me cause I fell out of my chair. Untitled Carrie S. I remember when my dad took me shopping. It was really fun. Then we went shopping and he bought me Uggs.
Good and Bad Memories Bronson K. I remember when I stuck a stick in some- one's eye. I remember when I was scared of how much trouble I'd be in. I was the fastest thing around. No one could beat me, not even a sound. Doorknob's Memories Layla M. I'm a doorknob for this room. I don't remember when I was made or who was the first person to use me. During the pandemic, someone with COVID used me. When someone else came, they got sick too. Then I was left alone for a year when people went home. One year, a girl had a cut on her hand. When she came to use me I got blood on the back of me. Now it's summer and I'm waiting to be used. I wonder what will happen next year at school. Remember That Time Baylee S. Remember when the day you brought me into the world. Remember when we used to play in the summertime. Remember when we ate ice cream and popsicles on a hot summer day. Remember when we used to drink hot chocolate on a cold winter evening. Remember when we used to kick off our shoes in the back yard and play with Super Soakers. Remember when you got me ready for a big day like a party. Balance Tristan T. Memories are things that happened in the past. You remember something that's good, but also something that's bad. Balance is the ultimate judge, president, mayor. You win some you lose some. Up, down, red, blue, life, death. I Remember This Book Jada T. Roses are red violets are blue I remember something how about you? One day a book came out called out of my mind there was a girl named Melody she could not fly. She was sad she could not fly but who can fly? Wall things can fly but Melody sure cannot fly. I remember that book I said huh I am 80 years old and I can remember wow. Memory Poem Dream W. Roses are red violets are blue one day lost my memory about my birthday how about a cake my mom said I said for what your birthday I was like huh how about you bye
Remember Them Grant B. Remember those who helped in your birth. Remember your mom who fought for you even if it was hard. Remember those who helped in your birth. Your father who was trying to do his job while caring for your mom and sister. Remember those who helped in your birth. Those doctors who were making sure you were a healthy baby even though it was 3 in the morning. Just remember them. Remember Jace M. Remember who you are remember your language remember what you like to eat remember earth remember it doesn't matter what color your skin is remember you're amazing Untitled Kaleb M. memories are so good because you can know about when you were a baby and what you did and what you did it from years ago Juice WRLD Ari R. I remember when WRLD released the album Legends Never Die and he released Wishing Well. And I remembered when he fell. My Memories of the Sky Hudson R. The sky that's blue Belongs to you It has your old memories When you were born You were facing up In the sky It has fluffy clouds That look like a fluffy blanket When you jump You reach for those memories Remember Messi Sepanta Z. Messi, The GOAT of football. Chicago Fire played Inter Miami. Messi was about to play! I was at practice so I came later around The 50th minute. I realized Messi wasn't even Playing. He was probably hurt! Chicago Fire won. But it was still a Memory I will always Remember.