Tinted Winter

For our penultimate 4th grade class, we traveled back a few months in time for “Very Strong February” by Bernadette Mayer. Now that spring has finally (?) sprung, this quite snowy poem was a visceral reminder of the chilly winter we had. After hearing it read aloud by student volunteers, I asked how many stanzas the poem has? There were a variety of answers before we reached the correct number of two, which prompted a discussion on what makes a line a line in poetry? After being reminded that a line can contain just one word—and in some cases, only a part of a single word—I asked why Mayer might’ve singled out certain words to be isolated on their own lines? Aside from doing so for emphasis, what might be gained visually by having those words appear that way? Would it affect their meaning at all? As the discussion turned toward certain parts of the poem’s text, I asked how many colors the students could identify in it? “Very Strong February” mentions at least sixteen distinct colors, repeating some and using variations on others, such as brown and brownish. What could such a focus on colors mean in the greater context of this poem? Are they there just to create certain images in our minds, or does the poet have other intentions?

When it was time to compose, I asked the students to write a poem using as many colors as possible. Here’s some examples of what they came up with…

Ms. Carlson, 4th Grade

Yahel A.

Mis cosas
llegando a la casa jugare con mi plaza negro
tengo un carro gris
amo el verde
el cabello del maestro Barry es dorado
mis ojos son color miel
mi reloj es rojo
Ms. Carlson’s hair is light gold

Food and Color and Stuff
Mitchell F.

Apples are red.
Bees are yellow.
Cats are multi-colored.
Doughnuts are brown.
Eggplants are purple.

Aubri Brown
Melania N.

You may notice that you
are the only one on Earth
but you’re not little specks that
are found on via media
are towns. You have sections
gold for the rich town, green
for happy, blue for sad.
The last town was purple
the unrich townspeople
barely had enough money
to pay for food! But
one girl named Aubri Brown
was rich but not of money but
of happiness! All the
others were dull but Aubri
was bright. She spent
most days writing in
a journal, but not noticing
that she was poor.

The Colors
Rocco P.

The blue sky. The white clouds.
A day with colorful feelings in
the day. Out of nowhere
comes a big glass of not
white milk but it is
a drink of something. Then
it spills and the world
turns gray. How we are
sad. Then the same happens.
It is colorful hooray!

How the Spring Looks
Kelli S.

I think in spring there will
be a lot of red, blue, pink, green,
yellow, and orange flowers and
we will see many kids wearing
red and blue and there will
be a lot of silver rain
and many people will have fun.

Mr. Chau, 4th Grade

Tru C.

The clouds are blue

So are you

The cities are golden

So are you

Money is green

So are you

Mr. Dean is special
So are you

The shoes are purple

So are you

Arna is a golden dog
He is my friend

Lucien H.

Red Robin has fruits including:
Oranges Oranges
Yellow Bananas
Green Grapes
Blue Berries
Purple Plums

What Are Colors?
Joshua O.

Corn flowers

Elton T.

Today we had a party we got
gray candy

Colors in the World
David W.

Rainbow in the sky
Green locust fly
Red fire burning hot
Blue water in a pot
Purple knives
Yellow hives
Orange sun
Who won
Lavender wars
Black pores
Volt cores
Pink bores
Midnight Blue drinks
Gray people blink
Blue-green oceans
With sky colored oceans

Color Poem
Nathan W.

Purple-filled skies—wait what! Rearranging
rain right raid red-blue skies….ahh!
Burning lilac flowers glittering under the
golden sky, that raged red for red rain.
Blood! Ahh! Pink hearts becoming red, raging
blue water through. Yellow sun golden to
the core, gleaming red skies. Raging red
fires conquered by blue, raining raging

Mr. Cox, 4th Grade

Cornell F.

You see it now
it’s burning red
it’s destroying everything.
Everyone knows what that means.
Get that blue stuff
it will get the fire to burn
The water has stopped the fire
the fire has turned into
gray smoke.
Yo mama says “GOOD JOB,
Honey, in your green shoes.”
“Baby I’m Death
in Black cause
I’m the Soul Collector.”

Annie H.

Spring is many colors
orange, purple, blue
also green and yellow too!
Red flowers blooming
lively blue birds cooing

Breea H.

Flowers are red
the sun is yellow
you are to so go
to the store get
blue flowers I will
always love violet
blue be sweet I
will love you too.

Color Crazy
Samantha K.


Zebra stripes

Nathaniel W.

Red, red, red galore!
Apricot is nice
I for indigo
N for navy blue
Blue is my color
Orange is awesome
W is for why did this end?!

Ms. Travis, 4th Grade

Tamia C.

I’m walking down the street
I see to my right the
girl with pink. I look
up to the sky I see it
with blue. I walk and walk
look red, pink, yellow colors!!

Jimmy D.

I saw a brown bald eagle
it had a nest made out of
green sticks. Its eggs were
blue and when it looked at me
I got red of anger, said
stop looking. Then I drew
Bye Bye out of orange.

The Colorful Dress
Emiliana J.

The dress was red
The dress was green
The dress was gold
The dress was orange
The dress was mine!

The Small Dragon
Gabby R.

The small dragon patiently
waits for nothing.
The vivid colors—in the
sky have the dragon
watching—red, orange, yellow, and
pink glow in the sky.
Soon the dragon walks to
a never ending line.
The moonlight shines while
the sky turns the night
colors—purple, blue, black.
Don’t forget the yellow-gold
stars shining bright.
The dragon goes to rest—
gold, blue, purple, and pink
scales shining.

Mystery Holiday
Victoria V.

The ground is white and the
plants are brown the clothes
tops are blue

The sky is blue and the
sun is yellow the girl
dresses are pink purple and
light blue.



“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.