The Blues, Revised

Shoesmith 4th graders returned to their blues poem drafts, but not before we had a look at video footage of some live blues performances. We noted types of instrumental accompaniment such as guitar, drums, and clarinet, listening for sounds that put us in the mind of wailing, crying, and sympathizing. Students were impressed by the emotional power of the blues, and listened for rhyme, repetition, and rhythm. They gave their 1st drafts a second look and wrote some more, taking into account some of the feedback I had given them on post-it notes. Ms. Lehner broke out her sparkly microphone, and students shared their blues with their classmates. A number of students swallowed their nerves and opted to sing their blues! We were so impressed and so very moved. Enjoy this double portion of blues poems, as we transition into Spring Break. 🌷💐🌺

Ms. Lehner
Grade 4 – Group 2

by Fat Harp Money Parker (Alaya L.)

Oh, no, no people don’t got hope
With everyone crying
When someone dying
Ooh, no people got hope.

They don’t care about people suffering
And some people ending the lives of a kid, a child
Whenever, whatever it is, still don’t care.
Whoa, they don’t got no hope
But, no, people don’t got no hope.

Only some people got hope
Some kids, they care
About the lives that are lost
Just like stuff stuck in a vault
Oh, no, people got hope.


Everything Blues
by Fat Gumbo Smith (Aliou K.)

Everywhere, I get the blues
Flying around my head
Trying to put me in a mood
sitting next to someone I don’t know
makes me wanna move
But I know it will just look rude
Everywhere, I get the blues
moving schools
because I have to go somewhere new
then I get lonely,
which makes me get the blues
But hopefully, soon
I will be done with the blues
Everywhere, I get the blues.


Malone Girl
by Sticky Fingers Perkins  (Gbemi I.)

Malone Girl has the blues
because she is so sad
she is crying because her husband got killed
Malone Girl’s heart is broken
because her children passed away
now she is in pain.
Her heart is breaking because she misses all of her siblings
no one knows what she is feeling.
Now she is so sad because her parents died when she was little
She has the blues because her cousins died
She is crying because her grandparents died
And I
don’t want to get the blues.


Fly High Blues
by Curly Boy Lee (Kiyan M.)

Have you ever lost a loved one?
because I have lost a loved one
the time goes by quick

The person I lost was sick
when they died I felt sadness
when I think of them I feel loneliness

My heart was broken when my mom told me
I know in my heart they’re watching above me
have you ever lost a loved one?


My Blues
by Boney Fingers Bradley (Jeremiah P.)

Ohh, so much sorrow
I have so much sorrow, yeah
I hate all this sorrow
I hate this fighting
Ohh, it’s too much
I hate the danger
When will someone else die?
I think about it all the time.

I wish that things could be better
I hold it in all the time
I wish that things could be better
I hold it in all the time
Ohh, and then I just let it out
I kept it in all that time
Ohh yeah


Why Did you Leave me?
by Buddy Money Jefferson (Briann R.)

2 years ago
God took an important soul
How much I miss him
It’s too sad to be told
When my mom told me this
I thought it was impossible
but it’s true
I miss his smile
I miss his face
And now I’m hearing his voice
All over the place


The Blues Effect
by Fat Boy Bones Brown (Xavier F.)

I have the Blues Effect
I hope I lose this effect
I’m banging my head
Instead of waiting
I’m gonna be raging
I moved to a new house
and I don’t like it anymore
I wanna go back
to where my home was at
But I’m used to it now
Oh, I’m used to it now


Grade 4 – Group 1

Why Pretty Liver Park Has the Blues
(by Lailah A.)

I got the No Sleep Blues
I got the I Stubbed My Toe Blues
Why, why? Now, I am so sad

I got the My Dog Ran Away Blues
I got the My Sister Went to a Different School Blues
Why, why? It hurts so bad
Why, why? Now, I am so sad.


Just Cry
by Fat Tooth Lee (Alyssa M.)

Just cry
My uncle died
I’m sad, yeah, I could cry

People think I’m faking
And it makes me so mad
I could scream
It’s sad no one cares

It makes me sad
My cousin moved ten hours away
I’m lonely, I need my friend
But she won’t understand
I’m alone. I am. It’s sad
Just cry
Just cry


The Blues Poem
by Fat Gumbo Franklin (Aiden T.)

Bullies make me sad
I wish I can stop them
My brother makes me mad
I wish I can stop him
My life would be more happy
but, I have Fat Gumbo Franklin Blues


Big King (Tomide O.)

I was getting upset
I was worried all the time
I’ve been slapped
I was crying all the time


Some of My Blues
by Curly Baby Dupree (Khadijah D.)

I fell on my back, not like any other
It hurt so bad, not like any other
I am so sad, super sad, not like any other.

I am fasting and I’m so sad
I could be eating
I’ve got the blues, yeah
I said it, I’ve got the blues, mmmm
and my stomach is growling
I’m so hungry
I’ve got the big blues, yeah


The sad blues
by Curly Dog Jackson (Kaya A.)

I have the blues, I have the blues
because deep down inside
my cat watches blues clues
I have the blues because of school

In school people make me cry
and makes me think I wanna die
People are class clowns
So I will just frown.
I have the blues because of myself
I just think of dental health.

I have “the sad blues” because I’m sad
and I get mad
I have blues because deep down inside
I just wanna say bye.
I’m sad because of everything
so I’m sad
and people say I’m bad


the ugly blues
by Jailhouse Money Franklin (Miles T.)

I’m so sad I’ve got a heart ache
I’ve got the blues, oh
It’s not easy without you
I’ve traveled far and hard
But it’s not easy to find you
I’m lonely, I have nothin’
But I have somethin’
the lonely blues
Oh no, it’s not easy without you
Traveling without you


Blues about my dog and my grades
by Jailhouse Johnson Lee (Misti J.)

I have the blues because my dog keeps biting me
every day, every day
when I leave home, when I leave home

I have the blues because my grades went down
they went down, they went down
and my Mom got really mad, really mad
yeah, that’s why
I have the blues.




“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.