Thursday, August 12, 2010

Some more poetry by the kids...

My last post had the first poems in free verse written by this same group of wise and witty kids. Their next try was to pick a feeling (from a box) and this is what they come up with in class:

By Anya Ghosh, age 10

Like hot steam that burns
the soul more painfully than a wound
It burns those souls
that have been hurt
More pain, hatred, fear
infests your mind
with thoughts you want to push away
Makes you feel
that revenge tastes sweet
And your head feels

By Rhea Prasad, age 9

Leaves become dry
Flowers wither
Trees sway very slowly
they don't die.

It's sadness
plain sadness.

Birds don't sing
Mountains erupt
Puppies howl and yelp
they are not angry.

It's sadness
plain sadness.

By Vikram Chowdhary, age 10

Monsters arise from the shadows
And feed on it.


They seek out and find the people who have it,
And train them as Dark Acolytes to use it
As a tool, a weapon.
To use it to harm the ones whom they hate.


The only way to kill the monsters
Is for their Dark Acolytes
To turn against them
And use the power of happiness
To destroy themselves and their masters.


But the monsters' dying screams
Summon their master,
The Shadow Lord.


The Shadow Lord then wipes
Out the Dark Acolytes,
Their families,
Destroys their home, their city or town or village, their country, their continent, their planet, their solar system, their galaxy and their universe.

Such is the power of hatred.

By Sana M. Beotra, age 10

It is what everyone feels,
at any point of their lives.
It bundles up inside you,
until there's so much,
that it burns like a fire.

It may be warm at first,
just a tingle
but it grows bigger and hotter,
and then,
when there's too much to control,
you let it out.

And when you do,
you feel small,
and terrified.
Dependent too.
Dependent on others -
those stronger than you.

You feel lost.
All you want,
is to snuggle under the covers of your bed.
This feeling
is dark,
lonely too.

After a while, though,
you overcome it,
you learn to push it down.
deep down,
from where it cannot control you.

This feeling
is fear.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Students Discover Free Verse

Not having been introduced to free verse at the age of ten, and being very much the sentimental poet at heart, I remember struggling to release torrents of deep emotion through the excruciatingly limiting art of rhyme. Nothing, absolutely nothing I wrote on paper would ever measure up to what I was feeling and despite abounding praise from teachers and family alike for what I did produce, I wept tears of frustration for first, having the emotions and second, not being able to express them under the strict vigil of Rhyme and Metre.

So, twenty years later and two weeks ago, when working with a zesty group of fourth and fifth graders who struck me as having at least a partial, but mostly a full blown streak of the sentimental poet in them, I bid a cheerful adieu to Rhyme and Metre and we stepped into the world of Free Verse.

Following instructions, the four wise children chose a word for me. After running through 'vampire', 'werewolf' and such, they decided upon 'human.' I quickly wrote a poem in free verse with the word 'human' in it. I've included it at the very end of this article. Once they understood the concept, they began on their own poems.

Here are the poems they wrote. (All their original work done in class.) I've put them in the alphabetical order of the words they picked from a box. Chocolate, Cleo, Flower and Trees. Please do take the time to read each one. They're short and incredibly beautiful. I will not say more, but leave you to savour these poems, as I did.

by Vikram Chowdhary, age 10

Dark, milk and night,
I love them all.
Sometimes it comes in single squares,
And sometimes in a bar.

It can be used for cookies,
Which I

Or you can eat it plain,
Which is just fine.

I love chocolate!

by Rhea Prasad, age 9

She ran across the garden
and she barked when she saw me
Her tail wagged like anything
when I cooed to her softly

She reminded me of an angel
walking to and fro

I miss her like anything
when a dog walks past me

I love her
and I always will.

by Sana M. Beotra, age 10

I am a child,
I bloom like a flower,
Though only when it's my season to.

Sometimes I might wither,
But with enough care and affection,
Someday I will be strong again.
Strong like the gushing wind.

But for now I must step into the journey of life,

by Anya Ghosh, age 10

Dewdrops fall on the pretty leaves
as the yellow flowers bloom
Dewdrops fall on broken twigs
and another sadness grows
In the place that was made for hope

Trees replace the place that was once made for peace
But as long as some remains
We are
full of desire
for some

(sample poem)

I am but human
There are moments I falter.
Moments when I have to make choices in life.
As I step through the journey of life
it is not always possible to be correct
And right
And perfect

I embrace the humanness of my journey and am easy on myself.
Its okay to be wrong sometimes.
I am, after all, human.