The Secret — of Skinner West!

Yesterday was the first day of classes for the new school year at Skinner West. It was great to see Ms. Rupp and Ms. Beaudry again, and to meet Ms. Schwartz and Ms. Ward. The students were excited, along with the teachers. Me too!

The first classes are always the most challenging, because I am introducing not just myself but the Hands on Stanzas program as well. I handed out folders for each student to keep the poems we will read read and discuss, as well as the poems they will be writing. We then talked about poetry in general—what students think of it, what it means to them, if it has to rhyme, and so on—before I distributed this week’s poem. To begin our discussion, I explained what line and stanza mean, and asked how many of each were in the poem, stressing, however, that every poem is different and how many lines and/or stanzas is up to the poet.

Our first poem was “The Secret” by Denise Levertov. It talks about two girls who discover “the secret of life” in a line of poetry, only to quickly forget the secret, the line, even the name of the poem itself! I like to start with general impressions of a poem, and a few students said they “didn’t get it,” which was not a surprise, while a more focused on some specific details from it, such as the ages of the girls, as well as its overall mood. “What is a secret?” I asked, and we all agreed that it’s something private we either keep to ourselves, or decide to share with only a few people. So for this week’s prompt, I asked the 2nd graders to write about something secret. I think they’re off to an amazing start!

Ms. Rupp, 2nd Grade

Carolina B.

I saw two girls whispering
I didn’t know what they said
I asked them
what they were talking about
they said nothing

I’m getting curious and
I have no idea
what they said
so I asked a girl
who was next to
them so she
said yes they
were going to be partners
in gym all that and
only figuring out
gym partners

A Secret
Alijah C.

Once I went
to an obstacle course
but the controllers
were my worst enemies.

Since they remember me
they put it too hard
for me I thought it
was a part of
the game

but the boxers pushed
me into mud and the
big red balls I fell into
the water

and the final challenge
the wobbly tightrope and
I fell again they kept
it a secret.

A Secret
Eliana K.

One day Jenny and
Kiki went to
school and found
out that it was

a Saturday
Jenny and Kiki

So they went
home and

They never
told anybody
all they said
was they

were in
the garden
that’s all.

The Secret
Shridhar M.

3 boys discovered a
secret. They kept
it to themselves.
But when they said
it out loud,
then they cried.

Something Special
Thomas M.

My brother was in the back
he saw some light
something hit him

he started to float
in mid air
he tried to get down.

But it would not
let him
I went to school.

The teacher asked me
what I did on my
weekend I did not

I had to lie.

Lindsay P.

There once was
a day where
the sky was

blue and there
was a secret
going around.

No one knew
what it was.
Then one day

someone found
out what it was
and it was a

terrible secret
and the person
who found the

poem turned to
a terrible
person and

someone turned
her good again
and she lived

happily ever after.

A Secret
Maura S.

Mom told Dad, Dad
told me and I
told brother.

Brother told dog,
but dog could not
understand so he
put it on his hand
and got a piece of ham.

Dog eats the ham and now
could tell someone because
it’s in his mouth he
tells baby, baby starts to
cry. Dog barks for a bone
the secret is a secret
to the family and I.

We cannot tell you.

The Special Secret
Michaela W.

I have a special secret,
my friends keep it well.

But they forgot
then they asked me again.
I always tell them remember it
then they forget again.

I am getting annoyed. Why?
They ask me to tell over again.
But I never know.

Ms. Beaudry, 2nd Grade

Livvy A.

I have many secrets
and have heard many from
friends. A secret is something
that you and your
friends can keep together.

The secrets that I know
I have never said one
word about. And neither
have my friends with mine.
And that is truly
what secrets are

My Friend’s Secret
Rebecca B.

I was told a secret a
whisper can be.
It felt golden
underneath the truth
of such a thing.

I won’t tell such
a thing. Oh no!
Why would it be
through many years?

Of sorryness,
of happiness,
of nothing.
Oh no.

The Secret of the Nile
Gabrielle C.

There was a Nile in the back
of the desert it was special it
had a secret. The Nile was always
fresh it never tasted icky. It had
the freshest water I have ever
tasted. It cures sickness it
also made you younger if you drank

The Secret in the Deep
Maddy D.

There was a secret in the deep,
that nobody ever found.
But I found the secret in the deep,
on the month that I was born!
It took me a while to get back up,
but I was right on time to open
my presents, and nobody ever knew that
I found the secret in the deep.
My mom and dad were so surprised
when they found it in my hands
they told me to put it back so I
did. But I visited it each day to
see if it was still there.

The Deep Secret
Sandy K.

Two girls discovered
life of a cat
named Magnus.

Magnus had a
secret. It was
that he
had a secret identity.

He had a
deep secret.
It was he
might be a ghost.

He also went
through doors!

He went back
and forth through
the porch.

Secrets I Keep
Madeline M.

I like to keep a secret. My secret is not good. One time I told
my brother, he exploded. I put him back together, but he
fall apart again. I told my mom what happened, she told
me a secret of life, it happened all over again.

Heaven Secret
Umar S.

I once heard a
secret it was
about a place like

Heaven with the
sweet song of
birds and flying

bears with berries
and flowers

one day
and someday
I will be there

one day
I hope

The Loose Secret
Andy W.

I once heard
somebody’s secret I didn’t
know what to do.

So I told them I heard
I got scared he would get

But he didn’t cry he didn’t
get angry, he just told me
to not tell anybody and it was

Ms. Schwartz, 2nd Grade

Hannah B.

A secret means a very special
time of your life and when
you are sad happy or mad or if
a secret means a lot of entertainment
of your life.

Alex G.

My poetry is a secret, if you
get a secret and if you say to
somebody and they tell somebody
you will feel happy, sad, mad.

My Secret
Charlotte M.

a secret to me
it means like
something important in
your life like
something that is

Samuel M.

a secret is something
that you tell someone

you do not

want to tell someone

because it might be


The Secret Treasure
Daniel R.

Boys found a
treasure and
they were
excited so
they opened
it up and
there was
gold so
they took
it home

The Secret
Lilly W.

One day I discovered some-
thing. I’m keeping it to myself.
It got boring to keep it to my-
self. So I shared it. Then I
lost it. I wish I didn’t
share it with my friends.

Taylor W.

A secret sounds like something
that you cannot tell. Or something
that you can only tell someone
you can trust. Or
a secret can mean you can
not tell nobody and mean you
can trust somebody not to

Matthew Z.

there is two boys
is it a secret

but I don’t know
what it is

it’s a very good and
very blue one

they read a lot
of poetry in books

it’s not a discovery
I know

Ms. Ward, 2nd Grade

Kennedy B.

There was a family and they said
“This is our secret!”

But once a boy named Tom came
and found the room with the secret.

It was a book of spells but Tom
thought it was more than a book of spells
he thought it can change his life forever.

He went home made a wand and
made a flying cat, a unicorn.

And that was Tom’s secret

Isabella G.

A secret is something private!
I have one but I forgot
it. I have one now. But
I don’t know the writing
or the secret. I wished I
did really. When I hear about
a secret I will make
one up. People say I don’t
care. I know a girl named
Jill. She told me a
secret super private.
I know that now. But
do you know?

John K.

One day when I was at Chuck E.
Cheese and my mom and I
kept a
secret and
it was about Gatorade

It was Lemon Lime and
my brothers love Gatorade
and then I never told them.

The Secret
Alana O.

My whole life I
kept a secret that I
told no one.
I won’t even
tell a paper. So don’t
expect me to write
it. But I will give you
some information. The
secret includes my friend.
Her name is Bernice.
So that’s my secret!

The Secret
Alex R.

The secret beyond my mind is
the wonder that everybody needs
to know. It’s the thing we look
up to but not stars secrets beyond
my mind beyond the stars it’s
the thing I see in the future.

Aramis R.

The secret I had is I had
a girlfriend until she went
to another school.

I was heartbroken because
I will never see her face again.

I will try to remember
her face forever until
my death.

One Horrible Secret
Isaac T.

One sunny day on Apple
Street I went to school.
In math class I heard
a kid say “this school is bad.”
When recess came I found
the kid that said the secret.
When reading class came
he wanted everybody to leave
the school.

Chris W.

The day I learned the secret of
snow. You have to go to the Icy North
and meet the Ice Lady.



“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.