For their 11th week of poetry Shoesmith 5th and 6th graders explored epistolary poetry. Epistolary poems are poems that can be written as letters, notes, or diary entries. We discussed the different ways people communicate with each other in today’s world: texts, emails, Facebook, Tiktok, and Zoom. But sometimes good old fashioned letter writing can be more personal and meaningful.
I shared with students the late Kobe Bryant’s poem “Dear Basketball.” Kobe was a brilliant basketball player for the Lakers. He wrote this poem when he decided to retire from the sport he played for over twenty years. Bryant’s poem even became a short animated Oscar Award winning film. Students thought the poem was sad, yet felt inspired that he lived his dream. For students it felt as if was addressed as a farewell to a close friend, a sibling, or even a parent. I’m ready to let you go/I want you to know now/So we both can savor every moment we have left together/ The good and the bad/ We have given each other/ All that we have.
Inspired by Kobe Bryant, students wrote epistolary “letter” poems to people and things in their lives. Check you mailboxes and read these wonderful letters.
Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
by Jayla C.
although your so far,
I just want to say with a lot of my heart.
I appreciate you so much and hope
you are well. Maybe I’ll see you soon.
-From your daughter
by Gian R.
I sent a monkey to give you this letter.
I am on a jungle and I want to play basketball.
But its too many “cheetahs.”
Funny joke right? Well its not a joke,
because I need food and water because
if I beat the “cheetahs” then, I’ll get
food and water.
So, can you help me train
so I can beat them.
P.S. Fly here in a private jet please.
Dear What I Love
by Dailan S.
Dear what I love,
I dance in my room everyday.
I love it. Sometimes I’m so happy
I can dance. I’m that girl. So I see
dance everyday. I fell in love with
it, me, it, me, it me, it, me
Dance is me.
-Forever and always to dance
Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
By Damirra H.
Happy 4th birthday.
I love you very much.
I gave you the name “she”
because when I first got
you they told me it was a girl
and she was very lonely.
So, I picked her. She was
Now you’re very mean/bipolar
and slow but that’s how I like you.
Dear Ja Morant
By Willie H.
When you play Utah Jazz.
I want you to score 159 points
and I I want to dunk on all
the players on the Utah Jazz
and Rudy Gobert.
I want you to jump as high
as a skyscraper. I jump up
when I am playing on my
basketball rim and do all all
types of dunks that you do.
I hope I see you soon or one day.
Dear Family and Friends
By Dion T.
Thank you for being there for me.
Like I did for you. I hope you
know that when I’m a millionaire
and a famous person.
You will be well known and always in
the heart. If I could I would give you
infinity lives, but I can’t.
But I have one life, make it, warm it,
risk it, ding dong ditch a couple of things.
Get the oops called on you a couple of times.
Just enjoy the life you live now.
Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
By Morgan H.
When I first met you,
You were a nice, kind, and loving person.
You always cared about me.
You were always there when
I was at my lowest point,
but I will always know that
you love me.
I was not prepared for you to die.
My mom cries all day and all night.
When you died I cried so hard
because I didn’t know what to say
but I will always remember you.
Love you granddaddy
by Heaven H.
from the first moment
I met you, I thought you were
a young person. You gave me
kisses on my face.
I always came over your house hungry.
You gave me strawberries with sugar.
I danced with you at your birthday party.
But since COVID started,
I never got to see you, then I miss your party,
then you were gone, long gone.
You will always be in my heart
and I will always love you.
By Lawrence T.
You might not be here physically but your
Every time I think of you I feel sad
but a bit happy because I got a chance
to have such a amazing dad.
God took you from this world because
you would be more helpful in heaven.
I love you dad.
Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
By Samia J.
Since the day I met you, I knew
we were going to be the terrible two.
I met you the first day I came to higher
learning age 1. You and Jurny were my
Its been 7 years since I’ve seen you
I’m glad that I found you on Instagram
and talk to you on Snapchat.
I hope we meet again.
You are the twin to my Gemini
(though you aren’t one).
Much Love and miss you boo
By Kamren M.
To the sport I love the most, football.
I feel inspired by you.
I feel sad about you leaving.
I feel anxious when I step in the field.
I fell in love with you the first time I touched you.
When I walk on the field, I feel all the energy in me.
When I run through that tunnel, I feel amazing.
When I run in that touch down, I feel happy and dance.
I will love the feeling of me getting drafted.
I will love the feeling of me and my family screaming.
I will love the feeling of me playing in my first NFL game.
I will love the feeling of me winning the first game.
I will love to win a ring with my team.
-Love you always -Kamren
Dear Movie Directing
By Aurion P.
Ever since I was a little kids I’ve always
wanted to direct movies because some
movies were boring to me.
So I always dreamed to make them bigger
and better and I’m going to do it.
No matter what if its aliens attacking earth,
pets with super powers or battle ships
flying through the galaxy, I’m gonna to
direct it and “be greater.”