When Is the Right Time to Write Poetry?

It’s exciting to be back at Shoesmith again. I saw familiar faces, met new students, and was greeted warmly by teachers and staff. Last Friday for their first session of poetry, 5th and 6th graders were asked, When is the right time to do something? How do you know it’s the right time?

Together we read the poem, “When to Write,” by Sophia Thakur. In her poem Thakur uses repetition, repeating the word When, to emphasize situations where writing seems necessary. When your fists are ready to paint faces/When there is nowhere to confide/When your skin lingers high above your bones/and your so out of touch with self/ write. Thakur uses writing as a way to build confidence within herself, which allows her to find her own power through writing.

Inspired by Thakur’s poem, students wrote their own “When” poems, describing the right time to do certain activities that give them a sense of peace, enjoyment, and empowerment. So, readers I have a question for you. When should you read poetry? Hopefully your answer is: right now! Start reading these awesome poems below.

Ms. Hassberger 5th grade
Group 1

When to Draw
By Alaya L.W.

You should draw when the time is right.
Don’t draw whenever you’re not filled with ideas.
You should draw when you want to express.
When you have something to share,
start drawing.
If you feel like nobody listens.
Your art could be
a shining bright star.
So, whenever you want
to do something for someone
When you like an idea,
and its cool to you,
Draw all the things,
you see.
Because all you have to do
is believe.

When to take walks on a beautiful evening
By Kaya A.

When you take walks, you may slightly feel stalked,
by the pretty trees and chirping birds.
when the afternoon rises the beautiful sky falls,
and then, you can slightly hear the midnight calls.
The sun is falling, down… down… and down…
You smile and you enjoy the nature.
It’s really not any danger, the birds are no longer
sitting on the crunchy branches. No there, not there,
the quietness then weighs like a bear.
it’s nighttime, the scary but lovely dark, you then
suddenly hear a dog go bark
and all the way to the edge of the earth,
a new sun… about to give birth.

When to Talk
By Taraji S.

You have the freedom to talk.
We have mouths for a reason.
You have the freedom to talk.
When you have a response.
you have the freedom to talk.
When someone did something
You have the freedom.
You have rights.
When you talk,
people might try to fight.
You have the freedom to talk.

Freedom, Freedom, Freedom.

When to Write Poetry
By Miles T.

When you feel up or unique, write poetry.
Write poetry.
When that adventurous part of your heart dies.
Write poetry.
When expression consumes you.
Write poetry.
When you’re inspired like a bright light.
Write poetry.
When your mind is blank.
Write poetry.
When that little spark lights
Write poetry.
When the caged bird sings.
Write poetry.
When there’s a blank paper
in front of you.
Write poetry.

Ms. Hassberger 5th grade
Group 2

When to Cook
By Aayan A.

When you feel really hungry.
When you don’t like leftovers.
When you want something fresh.
When you want to make good waffles
When you want to make seafood
When you want to make food for your family.
When you make birthday breakfast
When you’re a toast lover and make toast

When you make hot pot really bad
Cook and never stop.

When to Ice Skate
By Hunter C.

When it’s snowing outside.
Ice skate.
When you watch a figure skater.
Ice skate.
When you look at your ice skates
on your wall.
Ice skate.
When you’re walking outside and see
an ice-skating building.
Ice skate
When your ice skates hit the ice
and you glide.
Ice skate.
When you want to get a rating
of a 10. Ice skate.
When you wanna have fun with
you’re bored and have nothing
to do. Ice skate.
You want to feel like flying.
Ice skate.
When you want to impress people
Ice skate.

When to Stand Up for Yourself or Someone
By Alyssa M.

When someone is calling you names,
Stand up for yourself.
When someone talks bad about you
behind your back.
Stand up for yourself.
When someone says lies about you

Guess what?

Stand up for yourself.

When someone hits you.
Stand up for yourself.
if your mistreated
Stand up for yourself.

Don’t just stand up for yourself.

Stand up for everyone.

When to Think
By Xavier F.

When you are in a tough and intense situation.
When you are on a hard math test.
When you are in a strategy game.
when you are writing poems

Thinking helps us with a lot of things.
Maybe talk in your head on how you of things.
Maybe talk in your head on how you feel.
All you have to do is think.
Your brain is learning more and more everyday
so, use your knowledge to

Maybe your brain isn’t working.
Start it back up and think.
Thinking helps us survive.
Thinking helps us thrive.
And thinking saves a lot
of time.

Ms. Henry 6th grade
Group 1

When to Roar
By Minahil A.

When emotions can’t be shown.
When your tears fall because of the unknown.
When the half of you is gone.
When they don’t listen or understand.
When all you can do is fall and not stand.

When no one is looking.
When you can’t see anything.
When all you can think is negativity.
When you don’t have a community.

When to Dance
By Khaleah B.

When the beat of the music grows & you
can’t deny the vibe, just dance.
When you keep tapping your feet
to the rhythm, just dance.
When you’re trying to learn the words
of a song, but you can’t, just dance.
When you’re super happy, just dance.
When you see someone dancing
and you’re bored, just dance
with them.

When you’re sad or even mad,
just dance to cheer up.

When to Speak
By Zoe S.H.

When something goes wrong
and everything starts to crumble.
When your friends start to argue
and it doesn’t seem like it’s
going to stop.
When your mama can tell you’re
upset, and you want to tell her why.
Please speak.seem like it’s
going to stop.

When something goes wrong
and everything starts to crumble.
When your friends start to argue
and it doesn’t seem like it’s
going to stop.
When your mama can tell you’re
upset, and you want to tell her why.
Please speak.
When your fist are clenched into
a ball and you’re about to do
something drastic.
When you speak, you’re able to
tell your truth,
So speak for as long as you can.

When to Play Football
By Jahlil W.

When your break someone’s ankles and score a touchdown.
When your family is cheering you on.
When you want to impress your people.
When you catch the perfect spiral.
When you get that feeling in your chest.
When you want to win,
Play football.

Ms. Henry 6th grade
Group 2

When You Embrace Your Feelings
By Latasha B.

When the soundtrack of soul holds and yanks
your conscious into another world.

When your feelings are hard to embrace
and friendship ties and bonds undo
themselves like lace.

When tears of black rain filled with pain,
run like a river.

When your thoughts cannot be embraced,
salty rain drop, sting eyes like mace.

When riddled, rubric’s cube like thoughts
replace real feelings with props.

When you embrace, you can’t help but feel
alone, when they give you hearts of stone.

When invisible bound like barriers absorb you whole.

When you can’t embrace, when you lie because
you can’t cry even if you were to try.

When emerald colors as envy,
When sapphire colors as sad
When ruby colors as rage
When diamond colors as confusion.

When you embrace your feelings.

When to Listen to Music
By Leelah H.

Listen to music when you feel a way.
Listen to music when you feel strange.

Sometimes you feel a certain way
and maybe its just complicated.

It could be Rock, Funk, or Pop
or R & B if you will.

But it’s ok because it’s the way
you feel.

I like music because it’s calming.
I like music because it’s nice.

You like music based off the vibrations
in the air.

The way it waves through the air like an ocean.

Or it you feel as bad as a broken cab.

You could be sad, proud, or loud if you will.

But the music you listen to is based
on how you feel.

When to Cry
By Kamya J.

When you trust someone
but they tell your heart
to the world. Cry.

When someone is gone forever
who you thought would stay
with you to the end…Cry.

When you so hurt
you can’t even
breathe… Cry.

When you help others
but can’t even help
yourself… Cry.

When your so angry
but you don’t, won’t
take it out on others

When your parents

When you feel alone in the
world, your heart feels like
a void…Cry.

When you feel tired of the
world, tired of yourself
… Cry.

When the world is weighing
you down, the earth
is crushing by part… Cry.

When your so done and your
ready to fly,
a way to the sky … Cry.

By Dominic K.

When everyone has to leave.
When it makes me so sad I can barely breathe.
When it is fine to cry.
When I bottle things up and lie.
When it is a blessing to be happy.
When I can be really mean and snappy.
When it is a blessing to live.
When I can be nice and give.
When I never want to fight.
When I should try to find light.
When I can go to sleep when I’m sad.
When I’m crying when I’m mad.



“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.