‘she looks like a pool/ full sadness and doubt’: Well Traveled

We took a look at Richard Blanco’s prose/mix poem about missed destinations, We Are Not Going To Malta. Students were then given travel brochures exhibiting lush locales (decidedly not always depicting reality), and asked to create their own poems about wanting to go somewhere, but being unable to. Some students included actual lines from the brochures to juxtapose their imagined locations. See if you can pick them out!

Lesson Note: ‘In the course of my engineering duties….I began writing inch-thick reports, proposals, and lengthy letters to clients and permitting agencies. Consequently, I started paying close attention to the way language worked to organize my thoughts, argue a point, or create a persona, noticing the subtle yet important differences between writing “but” instead of “however” or “therefore” instead of “consequently.” I discovered that language had to be engineered in a way, just like the bridges and roads I was designing. It had to be concise, accurate, effective, and precise – the same terms one might use to describe a poem.’–Richard Blanco

Ms. Taylor, 9th Grade
Period 1

We Are Not Going to Puetro Rico
Marcus F.

My family getting packed for some of the
Most amazing trips of our life, we’re
going to Puerto Rico to see family.

My family setting their alarm clocks
for the trips, but something came up
I had a baseball tournament
and had to cancel the same day.

We Are Not Going to Peru
Rapa K.

Got my suitcase packed, I’m about to sit in the back
of My Mom’s Toyota. We are going to Peru. OOPS!
Nevermind. My parent’s mind changed. My Dad is leading a
big company. My brother has school in a couple of days. My Mom’s work shift changed. I wanted
To go to Peru. The country is filled with culture and
beauty. I wanted to see the landmarks, the
history. I wanted to walk in the city of Lima.
I wanted to see that city at night, but
instead, I’m looking at the Images of
the Internet Wishing that I had
parents. Maybe I can go next year, but I WISH
That my Mom can hear what I’m saying in
my head but instead I’m back home on
my bed.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
Period 2

We Are Not Going To Italy
Alexandra N.

We are not going to Italy. We are not going to Rome to see the fountain
or Spanish Steps. We are not going to Venice to see Doge’s Palace or
go on a Gondola ride. We are not going to walk amid the ruins of
Pompeii in Sorento. We re not going to luxuriate in the Ise of
Capri or enjoy a pizza lunch in Naples. We will not
be experiencing the warm culture or the bright sun beating down on us.
we will not experience the feeling of stepping off the
plane and breathing in Italy. We will not be enjoying the
delights of Italy because of the dark clouds approaching.

We Are Not Going to Puerto Rico
Joel O.

because the hurricane Joel ravished through the country, says the
newsman on the TV. Everything goes through my mind.
Sail through the waves and ride on a dolphin. The main
reason why I wanted to go to. I wanted to see the
microscopic frogs bounce around like mini-trampolines.
I wanted to speak Spanish with the authentic accent as
If I lived in Puerto Rico. Learn to speak Spain with the
thick nice accent. I could eat Arroz con gandules
and burritos every day, but I can’t because of hurricane
Joel has ravished through the beautiful country.

We Are Not Going To Florida
Emily W.

It’s ‘too much’ or ‘too crowded’, that’s why we can’t go
I wanted to feel the ocean breeze of Florida
Celebrate Christmas in July
have fun in the hot sun, In December
I want to see my cousin and Aunt/Uncle
Swim in the sea with a cool cola in my hand.
Lookup at the stunning stars in the night.

We Can’t Go to Costa Rica
Gianni A.

The captain said ‘We aren’t able
to fly to Costa Rica. I could’ve
gone water rafting in the pristine beauty and
stunning waters. We can’t visit the famous
Mango Park. We can visit the glistening waters.

We Are Not Going to Thailand
Patrick J.

We are not going to Thailand,
where it shines brightly from its
spectacular temples and unrivaled beaches.
But if we did go, we would bathe in the
sun, sit on the sand and have a great

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
Period 6

Ellora T.

10 days and 17 meals await me, but $1799 and
a stormy sky later, I still can’t go to India. I can’t
board a vintage jeep and smell the fried
chapatis being sold on the streets. I can’t bask in
the splendors of the past in Mangalore, or
visit the Ellora Caves that I’m named after. I can’t
visit the Taj Mahal or Delhi or Karola, or Agra. I can’t
look at the glistening Saris in the dirty store windows
or feed an unfortunate dog my Chipata. I can’t
hike up the mountains and breathe in the cold,
the fresh air that screams ‘India’ in a silent whisper
or stay in the cultural hut and bathe in the
backyard waterfall with the mangroves and
coconut trees. I can’t watch my grandpas’ eyes
light up as he rejoices in the arms of his
family fo the last time. Instead, he sits cooped up
writing on his computer, his longing to
taste the words and culture of ‘India’, slowly
fading with his age.
Superficial Europe
Hannah A.

I do not like cruise ships. The 2020 Europe
Grandeau entertainment page has an avenue salon,
connoisseur club, and much more. However, I want
to experience entertainment in walking through the
streets of Europe. To see the cracking buildings,
and smell the European air. I can not imagine
being stuck on a ship when I could see
and feel it all at my touch. I do not want
a superficial Europe. I do not want ‘Aventures in Elegance’
I dream of a trip that is REAL.

We Can’t go to Costa Rica
Christiana G.

This is because of the hot sun, for it will burn my skin.
I want to feel relaxed and at peace
I only want to not feel overwhelmed,
I couldn’t go because of the coastal ridge and
because I would be scared of the 170 acres
of pristine rainforest.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
Period 5

We Are Not Going to Rome
Zuzanna P.

The cruiser stopped abruptly, we knew although there was
no lurching motion. The captain came on the intercom
and spoke nervously. ‘We are NOT going to Rome.’ I looked
around confused with thoughts slamming my brain. What
if I had family in Rome or plans in Rome? Why are we
not going? What if I found that the sunkissed landscape
that brushed the clouds with buildings and stoic
architecture that lasted through the years called me
in some way? What if the culture called me to live in
one of those white structures with stoic architecture
sunkissed by clouds a landscape brushing my fingertips?
My thoughts stop sharply as the ship lurches. A horrifying scraping sound though
my ears. As I take my last
breath the cabin fills with water and my life
slips away.

We Are Not Going to Bora Bora
Josephine N.

We are not going to Bora Bora.
Because it is expensive.
Bora Bora, where the bungalows are at the tip of the water,
The place of paradise
palm trees,
and a beautiful beach.
Where you can live like you’re on a deserted island.
Where you can look below you and see the bright blue water.
Crossing bridges
and living like you’re on a boat.
Bora Bora is the place to be
Please take me there,
So I can be free.

We Are Not Going to Maine
Bobby B.

We are not going to Maine.
The trees of Acacia waving in the breeze.
Puffing bubbling with the waves.
The ocean extending as far as the eye can see.
I wanted to go home to Maine.
Maybe it would’ve changed me
But I got something much better.
we won a trip to Africa.
So I guess I can forget Maine
and gon on the trip of a lifetime.

We Are Not Going to Ireland
Niamh M.

Because of the travel prices this year, my mother
says, we are not going to Ireland-home of
spectacular countries, seaside cliffs, and vibrant
towns, according to the brochure of the tour we are
not taking. But what if we did to Ireland?
What if as we are traveling through the complete
route of central Dublin, the vibrancy of Grafton
street draws me in, and I feel Ireland could be
the place for me. What if, as I walk through
the picturesque ruins of Glendalough, I dream of
buying a little farm and staying.

Zora M.

‘Escape the chilly days of FAll’
‘Sunkissed shores of Florida’
We are not going because we
are not taking the cruise. The storm
ran all of our money. No more sun-
tanning; trying to get the waiter’s attention
for more Shirley Temples. Escape the
chilly days of Fall. No more going
to swimming pools, and swimming
til our eyes turn vibrant pink.
Sunkissed shores of Florida.

Ms. Taylor, 9th Grade
Period 7

Alexa F.

You are getting ready to arrive to
Cuba. You are almost there but then
find out a storm is ahead of
you so you have to go back
you then imagine what you could’ve done.
You imagine the Cuban breeze
and going to visit all the
architecture. You go for a walk
and see all the paint on the walls
now you really wish that you
can go to Cuba.

Ava S.

The beautiful resort with perfect skies called outrigger
Fiji beach sadly is not the place we will
be flying to today. Truly the most authentic Fijian
experience perfect for anyone to go to. A place to
be treated like a king and waited on like a butler
The swimming pools may be expensive but
I guess it isn’t worth it, sadly.

We Are Not Going to Asia
Melissa F.

The way there is way too long I wouldn’t
survive. My mom won’t let me go either it’s
too far she says, she looks like a pool
full of sadness and doubt. Looking through the little book next to me
I see the island
beautiful. I wonder…

Cristian U.

We are not going to Mexico where the
narcs are and there’s a lot of shooting and
If I were to I will be with my
family not with the narcs.



“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.