When the poet turns a corner

Sometimes you put it down for the night and then pick it up from the bed in the cold light of morning. When you read it out loud, in the early morning hours things are clear, the poem becomes clearer also. I always maintain that it’s revision that makes the poem turn a corner and you really don’t know how it happens – Sonia Sanchez

This week at Shoesmith students celebrated 2020 by selecting poems they had written in 2019 and giving them a revision makeover. Many students chose nature, recipe, transformation, and letter poems to edit. For inspiration we read a quote by poet Sonia Sanchez, discussing her revision process. Whenever she gets frustrated, Sanchez puts her poem away for the night and by the next morning, the poem turns a corner. By taking a break from her poem, Sanchez was able to recharge and see her poem through fresh eyes. Students concluded that during revision poets walk through their poems, turning down unknown corners, where they are surprised and become inspired by new ideas.

This was also students’ first sharing day. They navigated through paths of peer feedback and self-editing. Then students shared their revised poems out loud, which were now energized with new sensory details, figurative language, and imagery. So, I dare you readers to turn a corner and enjoy reading this week’s published poems.



                                            Ms. Wesson’s 5th Grade
                                                             Group 1


Deondray B.

Coming from school,
dropping my heavy bookbag.
I took everything out of it so
it can be light as a rag.

I’m playing a game, getting all
the fame. But I have chores to
do. Getting the sprayer, I better
say my prayer.

Went upstairs to get the trash.
It felt like I was carrying a gorilla.

Then CRASH. The loud sound
gives me a rash. I thought a
tornado was in my house,
but it was my mom. She was

I should be resting instead of


In Your Next Letter Cousin
Torren B.

Dear Cousin,
I miss you.
I wish I could see you
one more time.
Squeeze you tight, until
I become exhausted.

Skip school.
Suffer the consequences.

I loved how you taught
us new things. Remember
that time we raced eggs?
I felt so joyful.

I miss you
I miss you.

Come again to visit
my new house and
have fun with the Fam.


Passing Through Paris
Janelle M.

Seeing the Eiffel Tower with a
thousand aqua lights, celebrating
the opening of spring.

Feeling the wind through my hair.
Touching the water that reflects the

In a blue canoe, I float through
the light. I’m going to the party.
Thank you, Paris.



                                            Ms. Wesson’s 5th Grade
                                                             Group 2


Y’ana D.

What I see is the hottest time of the year.
Sweat coming down birds’ faces. Squirrels
hide up in the trees from the heat and the
trees are eating ice pops.

At the hottest time of the year, the kids
are at the beach, wearing jackets and
sweating like a dog’s tongue. Some kids
are building sandcastles, while others
run and play in the hot sun.

I am the dog knocking down the kids’
sandcastles making them cry. They
run away, out of the water.


I Can’t Write Poetry
Jaylon M.

I can’t write poetry.
I just can’t do it.
I try and try again.

Its like poetry is frozen and it just
won’t thaw.

It’s like the iceberg that sunk the
Titanic. Its rock hard.

It’s like the tiger protecting its food
and won’t let poetry come by.

Or like bowling and the pins are
poetry. I can’t get a strike.

Poetry is a girl trying to approach



Winter, but Summer
Terron R.
A giant snowstorm is coming.
I’m wearing long sleeves, but it’s

Where is the giant snowstorm?
We did the calculations correctly.
Something has happened.

I am sweating, the maple
trees are sweating maple.

My pencil walks to the Mississippi
River. Oh no! It’s now a desert!

What do we do? Grab a pencil
and poem, then throw them
in the air.

Everything turns white.
The snowstorm is back.
Yeah, Thanks Poetry.



                                              Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
                                                              Group 1


Live Poetry
Brandon C.

I live with poetry.
I fly with poetry.
I got poetry flowing in my veins.
I’m the 2nd Peter Parker that stops bad guys with poetry
On my free time.
Before, I did not have poetry and I was a lost soul
Searching for an outlet.
When you have new ideas
Creative things start happening to you.
Now that I have poetry
I feel that I have powers
To make people feel
To make people better
Like a superhero with a pen.


Downtown Michigan Avenue
Mercedes H.

Darkness hugs the high-rise buildings.
Tall trees with bright lights. Pretty as
as picture.

The smell of melted butter and sticky,
tasty caramel at Garrett’s popcorn.

The shops on Michigan Avenue
bring out the dimples on my cheeks.

The sound of my heart beats faster
at the sight of my mom’s credit card.

The nice warm smell of coffee at
Starbucks. Strawberry frappuccino
with a birthday cake pop.

The sight of more than a hundred
people walking on Michigan Avenue.


Recipe for My Mom
Nasir M.
1 cup of cooking talent.
3 teaspoons of brown hair and eyes.
4 cups of kindness.
1 pound of listening to music (especially Tupac)
and 2 pounds of silliness.
All her ingredients are mixed together
and baked with love in the oven.
Ding! Ding! She’s all done!
She’s my mom.



                                               Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
                                                              Group 2


I am the Desert
Jarvis G.

I am the desert, a burning stove top.
I am a sand tornado angrily wiping up the sand.
I am the turtle snapping at your fingers.
I am the snake rattling like a maraca.
My fist is the armadillo balling up, ready to protect.
I am a lion ready to strike at a hyena.
I am a hawk ready to catch my prey.
I am the steaming sun drying up all the water.


In Your Next Letter, Dad
Tyler L.

Hey Dad, it’s your son Tyler.

I remember seeing your beard long
as an anaconda snake. Those nice and
clean Jordan’s that smell like fresh laundry.

I remember that feeling from the seatbelt
and the car seat. So hot, it felt like I was in
the desert with no cool air.

When I go out to eat, I get chicken.
But it will never taste as good as yours
and Mom’s. Its so good like candy. I can’t
get over it!

I can still smell that good food from upstairs.
I’m so in love with that smell. It smells so
good like a rose blooming.

Every time I have my headphones on,
the music is so loud, like your music
bursting in the car. So loud, it’s as if
I’m at a concert!

I can’t wait to see you this summer!


Recipe for Sponge Bob
Taylor S.

Sponge Bob was made with a gallon of humor,
but also a gallon of depression from the people
of Bikini Bottom.

Sponge Bob was made with 10 cups of hatters
like Squidward and Plankton.

Sponge Bob was made with a pinch of curiosity.

He was made with 10 cups of friendship from

And lastly Sponge Bob was filled with love
from his home with his helpful pet Gary,
who understands him the most.



“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.