You Say You Want a Resolution

After more than a month away, I returned to Skinner West this week to begin the second half of my residency. The students were happy to see me, and I was also glad to be back!

The poem we read and discussed was Bei Dao‘s “New Year.” Dao was born in Beijing, and lived in the US for twenty years (after being exiled) before being able to return to China. I explained upfront that this was a translation from Mandarin to English by two people other than the poet, and spoke briefly about the complex art of translation. After listening to the poem, there were a few questions about words such as masquerade, boundless, and recluse, and I followed up by asking if the poem looked unusual in any way? The students have become accustomed to grammatical permissiveness in poetry, but we still considered why Dao chose not to capitalize certain words (while capitalizing others), and eschewed proper rules of punctuation throughout most of the poem. We also talked about the many interesting images in the text—a great way to get back into the poetry groove!

Pens and pencils at the ready, I explained that people often begin a new year with resolutions—or wishes—and asked the students to write about real (or imaginary) resolutions in their poems.

Ms. Thiel, 2nd Grade

Leo J.

My resolution is I go
shop a long time.
I like to shop because
it’s fun to go shop.

1 Million $
Spencer R.

I wish I had 1 million $
I wish I had 1 million $
so please 1 million dollars!?

Natalia R.

My life in my house
is dirty. My Resolution is to be
a Helper. Help my mom cook, clean and
bake all the time. I’ll be great!!

My Resolution
Leila W.

The sound of children playing.
The sound of sweet joy.
The sound of the children
laughing in the night, playing
games and singing songs.

Ms. Ward, 2nd Grade

Karsten H.

My resolution is to
be the best brick
breaker in the world
and break the most

eating the
most sandwiches

Tahlia L.

I am mean
to my Brother.
I will
stop that
I will try
to be nice
to my Brother

New Year
Jasmine M.

A little girl walking towards
a big home for a party
Balloons drop, drop, drop

Music playing so loud

They party till 12:00

Giving gifts

And a dark color shade in

The midnight.

A new tradition
A better one

Lorenzo P.

I want to touch the
bottom of the deep
end in my swimming
class at our free

Nicolas T.

Everyone has a resolution. Big
small any kind. My resolution
is small. What is yours? Big
small any kind. Another resolution
is big. What is my dog’s? Big
small any kind. My last
resolution is not big not small
but just right. What is the

Big small just right any kind.

My Resolutions
Sadie W.

1. To eat 1,000 candy bars in
a month.
2. To bake stuff I never baked
3. To be able to do the splits.
4. To be able to do ice skating good.

Ms. O’Connor, 2nd Grade

Wishes Again
Chloe B.

I wish I were a pilot
with a hundred passengers
I want to own a building
and make it an ice cream shop
with every single flavor in the
world I want to close
a door to an old world
and start everything over
again I’ll try to make
a friend in eighth grade
and start my life and my
world and friendship again

Karynn C.

I am hoping I want to
achieve to get better and
better at school I am going
to be smarter than the smartest
person in the world. I can
be so so smart.
I’ll be smarter than smart.

Ray H.

I want to go to China.
I want to own a car
and hold the world record
for driving a car to China.
That is all I want.

I Wish…
Katy H.

I wish I could have an arctic wolf.
I wish I could have ice cream for breakfast.
I wish I could have a unicorn.
I wish I lived in a mansion.
I wish I was RICH.
I wish I won the lottery every day.
I wish I had a cat.
I wish……… brother was a potato!

Tyler L.

Year new, new year
The year is long the day is
short so take your time

Out of it a day is long a
year is short so make your time out of
it night is short day is long

So be ready you can talk you
can be quiet day is

long a second is short so enjoy it
day is long year is short

Year is long day is short

New Year
Paige R.

Be at school on time
Finish homework
Eat healthy
Help parents
Treat people good
Make pretty pictures
and last but not least
Play Animal Jam.

Ms. Rupp, 2nd Grade

Quinn D.

This year, I”ll jump
off the Willis Tower.
When I land, I’ll pick
an ugly flower. Don’t
judge me. Or I’ll
judge you. Then, I’ll
make sure you’re extra
glued. Let’s go home
now. Get a slice of
pie. No don’t tell me,
don’t tell me a lie.
That’s what I’ll do
this year.

My New Year’s Resolution
Sirenna J.

My new year’s resolution is
to watch Soul Surfer
to watch the surfer
Bethany Hamilton
surf a huge wave
and then shortly
after breaks
her arm.

Bailey M.

Today… Today…
Today I will climb
the highest mountains

Today… Today…
Today I will swim
the deepest seas

Today… Today…
Today I will go the
furthest in space

Today… Today…
I will rest in
my bed, my pillow
up against my
soft light head

Naima R.

Something I do
every year I
write a list
of things.

My new year’s
to get done
list oh what
joy it brings.

I check off
each to do
quickly with pride.

I always have
that precious
list in my
pocket on
my side.

Matthew W.

I’m going to tell you my new
year’s resolution. My
new year’s resolution is that
I would stay under water for 5 mins
without going up for a breath of air.

Thomas Y.

I need a resolution.
One is write neatly. I must
write neatly.

My teacher can’t read my
work. Another is JUST
STAY quiet!

Ms. Schwartz, 2nd Grade

A New Resolution
Logan F.

New year’s thing
of past memories
coming through
the valley

This year
Next year
Later year and more

couldn’t keep couldn’t
stop Days flew like
a bird

passage to passage
page to page
so on

school gets hypnotized
by the winter blows
it out

Yay! New Year
Shreesh K.

New Year is the
best. This New Year
I ate pretzels.
I’m going to eat
every box of pizza.
I’ll become the

My Goal My Life My Goal
Alex M.

My goal is to get to be
better at soccer and singing and
dancing in the air.

My Resolution
Jayce M.

My resolution
is getting to soccer
with family and
playing with each other
and I want Panthers to
win the Super Bowl! Let’s go!!!

Arjun N.

Celebrate Christmas better and visit
more places and be energetic

Ryan Z.

I want to go to
the highest mountain
and slide down with a



“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.