Remember to Write

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.

Ms. Kawa
4th Grade

Jolin C.

Think hard and long.
When you took your first
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.

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
at times
that I
don't want
to happen
like how
when I
was 6
months old
I lost
a Mickey
Mouse toy
and found
it 3 years
oh how
I have
love for

Remember Me
Naomi T.

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
hopes to see
my best friends from
a different

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

Ms. Makris
4th Grade

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.

Sascha G.

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

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

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.

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.

Carrie S.

I remember when my dad took me
It was really fun.
Then we went shopping and he bought
me Uggs.

Mr. O’Brien
4th Grade

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.

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

Ms. Nelson
4th Grade

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 
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.

Jace M.

who you are
remember your 
what you like
to eat
it doesn't
what color
your skin is
you're amazing

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.

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
He was probably hurt!

Chicago Fire won.
But it was still a
Memory I will always



“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.