Block Island School poetsPoems submitted to the International Reading Association
Each year the Rhode Island Council of the International Reading Association asks all Rhode Island students, in grades K-12, to submit poems anywhere from 8 to 25 lines long that respond to the following theme:
“Dig deep into your imagination, a poem may sprout and blossom! An idea gem once hidden may be brought to the surface and polished.”
One student poem from each grade level may be submitted. The classroom teacher and classmates will determine the selection criteria.
Selected poems are published in an anthology by the Reading Association and students and up to four guests are invited to attend a reading and festivities on Saturday, April 27, 10-11 a.m. Each published student receives a free copy.
On Block Island, teacher and poet Nancy Greenaway collaborated with teachers and aides in grades 5, 6 and 7 to offer three workshops on poetry.
Here are some of the student poems (and one teacher poem, as well).
What is a treasure?
To one, it may be silver,
or maybe even gold,
but, to me, it’s
nothing one can hold.
To me, a treasure is a dream,
a dream that makes you smile,
a dream that inspires you
to do just what you do,
no matter how big or small.
Some things in this world,
you cannot actually see,
but those invisible things
are what treasure means to me.
— Avery McGinnes, Grade 6
Thinking of Lost Treasure
I’m thinking of you with joy and pleasure,
remembering times I will always treasure.
A lost treasure I discovered
amongst a pile of things,
outside and badly weathered,
swollen fat with a broken back,
but every page still intact,
eight hundred pages
wrapped in lovely blue,
what a lucky day for you!
— Anthony Almonte, Grade 7
A Swing Set
A swing set calls as you pass by,
A lingering memory of a time now past,
Begging you to swing, swing up to the sky,
Feeling a weightlessness gone too fast.
So you heed its calls
And perch on the seat,
Just this once not afraid to fall,
You start swinging your feet.
And then…everything’s gone,
And for a fraction of a hundredth of a second,
You are weightless and strong,
And glad you went when beckoned.
And you tip back, further and further,
Just a little bit more.
Now you are flying.
Maybe you’re destined to soar.
And then you remember,
Today, you forgot your wings
And gravity tugs at your shoelaces,
Reminding you of real things.
So you get off the swing set
And trudge on by,
But you can never forget
How fearless you feel when you fly.
— Kim Woodward, grade 11
I fly, I soar, I drift, I climb.
I sail until I don’t feel time.
I reach the end and inhale pine
Then hop down off the zip-line.
Allie, my friend, is next for this,
A trip of a lifetime, nothing to miss.
Suddenly we slide into a land unknown to us
With dragons and monsters, but, nevertheless,
We have a mission here, and it’s time to aggress.
We’ve already created our own special powers,
So defeating these monsters is no reason to cower.
We find our hide-out behind a large bower.
Then I hear a faint voice. Has it really been an hour?
It’s time to say good-bye to this dangerous locality.
With a zip and a whoosh, I’m back to reality.
It’s been a long day for me and my friend,
But battling dinosaurs is a good way to end.
— Madison Tretheway, grade 12
After dull, damp, mud months,
tender green blades
duel to freedom
from the weather underground
where the fight for life
gray death’s dominion
over the frozen surface world.
Just when we’ve thrown
gloved hands skyward
in surrender to whips
of winter wind,
daffodils shoot up blazing
captivating us with promises
of an armistice
— Nancy Walker Greenaway, teacher
In the British Virgin Islands,
There’s beauty wherever your eye lands!
Any port can be a party,
If it’s where this guy lands.
Oh, the joys of living on a boat,
Cruising around like an outlaw.
I never could have foreseen a heaven like this.
How I love to snorkel in waters of green
Feeling the presence of fish
And the ocean’s salty kiss.
Be careful in the galley
Or a fork’ll jab you!
Had you not been on this trip,
You’da been eatin’ Gouda cheese at home!
Do you want to miss this bliss?
— Andre Miller, grade 7
Cute is one word to describe my puppy.
If you put a jacket on him, he’d look lovely.
He bites, he chews, he gnaws on you.
Unfortunately, he eats lots of deer poo, too.
After he’s done eating, he wants more,
But he won’t go out in a downpour.
Puppies, puppies, they grow so fast.
If only, if only there was a way to make it last.
— Patrick McNerney, grade 5