This name in which I can never find a key chain for

I was excited to meet the 8th graders of Haugan Elementary. Students kicked off their virtual poetry residency by exploring the meaning of their names. They were asked the question “Does your name define you?” A few students mentioned how they disliked their names and wished to be called by something different, while others were proud to be named after family members.  By looking up their names online, students were surprised by their names origins (Hebrew, Latin, Portuguese).

Together students read the poem “Aline,” by Aline V. an 9th grade student from Lane Tech, who participated in Hands On Stanzas last year. In her poem Aline describes issues surrounding her name, how its often mispronounced and not being able to find a key chain for it. Yet, she embraces what she loves about her name, its connection to a French song and its special meaning, bearer of light/yellow ray of sun/ noble one.

Inspired by Aline V. students wrote poems about how their names express their unique identities. Every week new student work will be shared on our blog. Please enjoy this week’s published poems.



Mrs. Thomas’s 8th Grade
Group 1


Angela Lou
By Angela G.

Angela Lou
A popular name that was turned unique
Louie which passed on to Lou
I never thought I could ever love my name
Feels like Angela represents the fun side of me
Lou represents the way I act like my caring
selfless dad

When life took a turn for the worst
I learned to love my name
Angela…meaning the messenger of god referring to
What a miracle, my guardian angel has protected
me from evil
I respect my name and so do other people.


By Kimberly G.

The name Kimberly
It’s not that shocking or gets an expression
of the name
Tho it doesn’t bother me, I wonder if they’ve
heard it?
Kimberly is sometimes a confusing name
With an easy nickname
Kimberly an Old English word Cyneburg
Cyne, royal, what kind of royal?
Is it the type of royal people adore?
Royal rich?
Or royal greed
What type is good or bad?
Burg, fortress, that’s what it means
It’s like a castle, but not exactly
I am a royal fortress
A fortress can be neat


By Celeste L.

The heavenly name
Color of the skies
A 7 letter name connected to
What is that 7 letter name?
Now when I look up into the sky
The light blue sky
I think of my 7 letter name
I imagine God
Angels flying
Fluffy clouds
This heavenly name that was chosen by my dad
And that is my heavenly name…
My celestial name…



      Mrs. Thomas’s 8th Grade
Group 2


By Natalie B.

As I ponder what took place in this situation.
The birth of a new person, to experience the love of family.
The first child…
the steps from evolving from a young child to an
independent adult.

“What are we going to do?” Mother sighed.
As fear emerged into the room through the cold wall.
Not finding the perfect name for the first child born.
A book with extensive names for newborn girls.

Given as a recommendation to find the “perfect name.”
As time ran out…birth papers needed to be done.
As the sun beamed bright across the window through
the room. The warm feeling of hope had arrived inside.

A name that represented the bloom of a new life
to my parents.
Birth from the Lord
Christmas child
The pinch of sweetness
Delicacy… charm

The unique part of me will forever be Natalie.


By Cindy H.

Not just a name
But a sound
A feeling
A smell

A pretty name

A sound of water running water through
small cracks in the pavement
The feeling of falling endlessly
The air filled with smells of sweetness

What a wonderful feeling
What a majestic sound
What an elegant smell

Pretty Name

Watch the birds fly
Watch the stars sing
Watch the clouds pass on by
for a cup of tea

Marvelous flowers shining bright
Air filled with flavor
Sky of plentiful light

A pretty name

Lay down in the water
Feel it rush in your clothes
Your hair


By Alejandro S.

“Alejandro” Yes that’s my name.
“Defender Of Life.”
That’s what it means.
“Descendant of Alexander.”
Originates from Spain… And my name
Which was given to me for a reason.
Given to me by my parents
who saw “GREATNESS” in my name
and greatness in my future.

The name “Defender” who I believe represents me.
Because I care, because I care so much about people.
I care too much about my friends, my family, and
all living things.

And I wonder is this what the world saw in me?
Did I receive my name for this very reason.
Did life really see this in me? If so, I will continue.
I will continue caring, I will continue to be nice.
I will continue to be “Alejandro.”


Mrs. Thomas’s 8th Grade
Group 3


By Tristan C.

Its Tristan
It was a gift
from my father
The first gift I’d bare
Though it’s not the best
It’s the one I’ll gladly wear
And though this
is my name

I know when I pass
A younger man will claim
And he will keep its honor
And he will keep its fame
And when he has a son
He just might do the same

Achilles, another strong name
One well respected
and one free of shame
This was the first choice
It means “suffering” and “pain”

Though Tristan wasn’t
the first choice
for my name
But it was the last
I quite like it
I’ll honor those
who’ve had it in the past


By Anjali P.

A name that is just…6 letters
A name that is Unique
A name that is mispronounced often

Those 6 letters represents me for who I am
And what I do
A is for Attentive
N is for Noble.
J is for Joyful.
A is for Alluring.
L is for Lionhearted.
I is for Imaginative.
This is a name so unique that I can’t even
find a key chain for it…

A name… that my mom gave me after her…
favorite movie character.


A 7 Letter Name
By Adriana T.

Adriana is a unique name for me.
It suits a little person like me.
7 letters, it looks like A LOT
There are days I’m sad
and the WHOLE world turns dark in a
blink of an eye.
The 7 letter name doesn’t have a connection
to my family.
Sadly, but it’s okay.
I’m unique.

“Adrian come here.”
A name for a boy eww…
“Arianna you finish your homework?”
The famous celebrity? no
“Adria did you finish washing the plates?”
No, no, no
Its like something is wrong with their tongues.
Twisted in many paths.
I’m just waiting for the perfect moment.
Til’ someone says it right…

Siting in the sala (living room)
Was my mom and my aunt
both discussing my name out.
I wasn’t even born yet.
“Arianna” that was a so-so name says my mom.
“What about Adriana” goes my Aunt.
Both quiet for two seconds
Only the sound of my cousin drinking
her juice box to be heard.
Coming back to reality both decided on
Adriana. A-D-R-I-A-N-A
A perfect 7 letter name.
It’s a weird sensation for me,
when someone mispronounces my name.
I’m too timid to correct them.
A rolly polly quickly turning into a ball.
It’s like I’ve frozen in time.

Lost in the dark.
Yep…that’s what my name stands for
I just wish I was brave enough to correct them
But I’m not.
Is that good?
Sometimes I feel like I can hide behind my name.
A warm cozy squirrel’s nest.






“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.