Survival Songs @ Peterson 7th Grade

Last week, we learned about stanzas and repetition through the reading of a “Litany for Survival” by feminist, activist writer, Audre Lorde. Students wrote their own poem on survival from the perspective of the main character Isabelle from a book named Chains that they are reading in their English classes about a young slave girl who has to find her way home.


Mrs. Ionita
2nd Period


Survival, Love, Freedom, Justice, Food, Safety, Rights
Imanee H.

We going through the hardest
Deep down I know we’re supposed to be free

I try my best to speak up
I just know that I’ll get punished for it
I work, clean, And care
But Deep down I know we’re supposed to be free

Running away won’t work
I’ll take a slap for her, anything for her
But it’s worth it, it’s better on me than her
Some people are wonder, some are not
I Just deal with it

I Just Know
Deep down we’re supposed to be free


A Petition for Justice
Maizy P.

For those of you
who control our lives,
who treat us as property,
remember, we are people too.

We require love,
for remember, we are people too.
We require food,
for remember, we are people too.
We need to be heard,
for               we are people too.

For justice to come around,
you need to remember that
we aren’t different than you
we deserve justice
equality and rights.
for remember, we are people too.


Just Keep It Closed
Yvette S.

For those who are in the same position as me
trying to talk, but words won’t come out
knowing a punishment will occur if I do
just keeping it closed

For those who want to rise up
but are being weighed down
like a pint of blocks over your head
trying their best but can’t figure out
the right ways
just keep it closed

when out actions overcome us with anger
and we want to burst out with
our own opinions
just keep it closed

Justice is our goal
So we have to stay quiet
but one day we won’t and until that day,
just keep it closed


Mrs. Ionita
3rd  Period


A Litany for the Life of a Slave
Genevive J.

For those of use
who are enslaved

For those of use
who don’t know
if we will ever
be free.

For those
of use who don’t
know which meal
will be our last.


I am Afraid
Amir M.

For me I’m afraid to Talk
For me
I am afraid of getting caught
I Love Ruth
I am afraid of losing her

I would do anything
to escape though
I am afraid to do it.


A Litany Against Slavery

Hannah P.

For those of us who
are enslaved.
For those of us who
suffer day to night.
For those of us who
wonder if they will be sold.

Never knowing if our family will
be snatched.
Never knowing where our
next meal will come from.
For those of us who haven’t gotten to meet their parents.

We are afraid to talk,
walk, or even live.
Hoping to espace,
But we know it’s our last resort.


A Litany for Slavery
Kassam S.

Slavery we are afraid
overseers and slave masters
we are afraid

escaping we are afraid
we will never return again

Getting beat we are afraid
losing family
we are afraid





“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.