Tuesday, February 13, 2007


On my first day at Sherman, I was introduced to Antione, the only child to sign up for after school poetry workshops. On his little red notebook he wrote, Antione and looked at me, waiting for direction. With one student I had to think twice about how to spend the next hour and a half. I'm used to huge groups of children where there's barely enough time to read a single poem let alone hear everyone's voice. But here I was with Antione in the upstairs classroom on the 3rd floor, sitting at a little cluster of tables. I usually hate doing the "I am" kind of thing, but I decided to try it with Antione, hoping I'd get a chance to see where he took this and also use it as a chance to talk about imaginative thinking, metaphor joy, and the use of alliteration and sensory details. So that's what I asked of him -- to finish the idea of I am any way he wanted -- the only catch was to speak absolutely from the heart. I also coached him to created a chain of ideas linked by becoming the one thing mentioned in the line that came before it. He nodded earnestly. And here's what he wrote:

I am a heart beating
like a drum, I am the
rain falling from the sky,
I am the sky filled
with clouds, I am the
clouds floating over
my head, I am a head
filled with thoughts, I am
thoughts that come out
and be a part of my life,
I am a blue book falling
onto a purple carpet,
I am the purple carpet
lying on the brown and white
ground. I am the ground
being stepped on by adults
and kids, I am a child walking
through a field of green grass,
I am the green grass
shivering in the
wind. I am a roaring
rocket blasting off
into the atmosphere.
I am a piece of paper
flowing through the


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