Transformation Poetry @ Peterson 6th Grade

I was ecstatic to meet the 6th graders of Peterson Elementary, especially since this is the first time Peterson is participating in the Hands on Stanzas program. These bright group of students are now part of a large supportive poetry community. For our first session we discussed our goals for the poetry residency. Students will read, discuss, and write challenging, yet fun poetry that will aid in their growth as writers.

Students completed an icebreaker activity, using M&M ‘s to answer silly, yet meaningful questions about their own personal backgrounds and interests. Students discovered that the places, people, and things that they encounter in their daily lives can become poetry. This was a tasty introduction to our first poem discussion, “Eating Poetry,” by Mark Strand. In this humorous first-person poem, the speaker is sitting in a library eating a book of poems. To the librarian’s horror, the speaker undergoes a startling transformation from a man to a wild dog. We discussed Strand’s use of metaphor; the speaker directly compares poetry to food. One student pointed out how just like the speaker the class was “digesting” poetry. While reading our minds were absorbing new ideas and changing our perspectives on life. Inspired by Strand’s eccentric writing and  imagery, students created their own poems, imagining interesting ways that they themselves can be transformed through  poetry.

Every week, students will have the opportunity to see their work published on the Hands on Stanzas blog. Enjoy this week’s published poems.



                                                                   Ms. Bell’s 6th Grade
                                                                               Group 1

Burning Poetry
Emily B.

My skin burns under the sun.
In the distance I see poetry.
Poetry has been burning my skin.
I go to the ocean.

A squid splatters ink in my face.
My eyesight turns black.
As I wake up, I find out
that I’m a squid myself.

Blinding people.


Flying Poetry
Azebe T.

Wings form behind my shoulders.
They flop slowly, ready to push.
I am ready to fly myself into poetry.
As the wind blows through my hair, I fly
into the pages of poetry.

My eyes start to burn and sting.
Patches of feathers start to grow on skin.
My eyes burn a light brown until, poof!
As I fly through the last page
I become a new creature.

The bright white feathers on my body glow.
I’m a dove!


Running Poetry
Raiyann M.

I open the book.
I start reading the poem.
Words flow out.
I get sucked in.

Standing on the long path,
that goes back to Earth.
I look behind me and the path
starts to disappear.

I start running,
taking the straight path,
not looking behind me.
I don’t stop.


                                                              Ms. Bell’s 6th Grade
                                                                          Group 2



Jumping Poetry
Lana S.

My stomach is filled with butterflies.
I’m scared to jump.
The skies are filled with words.
Closing my eyes, I jump.

Trying to catch my balance,
I’ve landed on something.
My brain suddenly clicks.
I’m inspired.

I’m on a cloud, looking ahead
words and words are all in red.
I then decide to jump on them
without fright.

I am a little cloud.
I am fluffy and round.
I try to breathe, I try not to stumble.
Now it’s in me, poetry.


Racing Poetry
Tahreem S.

My eyes are moving in my sockets,
trying to finish before time runs out.
Not understanding a word I see.

People stare at me,
some are telling me to slow down.
I just can’t.

Time runs out!
I’m done! I’m done!
Happy as can be.

I let out a sigh,
but that bliss has just died.
The poetry has just won.

Poetry finished before me.
At the last second,
it won.

A terrible way to lose,
I fall to my knees,
feeling the defeat.

Yet, from this moment
I have changed.
My heart understands defeat.

Poetry has transformed my perspective.
It has seen through my heart,
making me feel true bliss.


Singing Poetry
Kassie C.

As I sing my favorite poem,
the words appear in front of me.
Seeing them right there, made
my nerves calm.

The cheers coming from the dark,
made a smile grow on my face,
I caught a glance at my hair,
only to find it changing from purple
to brown.

The words feel so natural,
coming out so smooth.
The light is bright
blocking out everything else.


                                                            Ms. Bell’s 6th Grade
                                                                         Group 3


Painting Poetry
Sadiya L.

The water is now a foggy blue.
I dip my paint brush and continue
to paint, each stroke a thought
of my imagination.

Warm blue skies sink into my
skin, as sand moves between my,
toes. Waves crash against my legs
as I walk through the water.
Suddenly, cliffs start to crumble

I open my eyes, I’m home again.


Singing Poetry
Agustin T.

As I enter the studio, I start to feel nervous.
I enter the studio, and everyone stares.
I just realize this is the wrong studio.

The director tells me to sing.
But, I have forgotten my music.
He yells, “Go get it or you’re done singing!”

When I find it, the director shouts
“Hurry up or you’re done for the day!”
I begin singing poetry.

While I sing, I look around.
The director is gone.
I begin to feel weird.
I have turned into a microphone.


Jumping Poetry
Zaid P.

I’m jumping on a trampoline and poems are flying up.
I catch a poem with my hands.
When I read the poem, it fills me with joy!

I go to show the poem to my mom who is sad.
She fills up with joy!
The darkness tries to stop her from jumping
into the light. She finally escapes and leaps
into the light.

I soar with joy and jump high as a kangaroo.
I jump so high and I surpass the sky.



“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.