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The Words of Student Poets


Poetry at Brighton Primary School, Adelaide, South Australia
Recently I had the special treat of working with Year 7 poets from Brighton Primary School in Adelaide. During the day we closely examined a range of poetic structures and devices and applied them to our writing of poetry.

With one group I introduced Suzanna Marshak’s  powerful book ‘I Am The Ocean’ to alert these enthusiastic poets to the potential power of writing through a mask and using personification. Another group looked at personification through their connection to things in the world around them. 

Pre-writing discussion followed by intensive writing.

Using the poem, ‘I Am These Things And More’ as a model.  Students were challenged to think about these important connections. A particular focus of the writing was to try to incorporate effective use of repetition, line breaks, simile and white space in their composed pieces.

These young poets talked in groups and identified their targets for personification. They rehearsed their opening lines. They rechecked the list of craft moves available to them and then they set about writing their pieces.

Later in the day a group of students looked at Rant Poetry and readily embraced the challenge of unpacking those pesky thoughts that sometimes surround our lives. 

 I shared Shane Koyczan’s powerful spoken word poem, ‘To This Day’ by way of encouraging writing close to the heart.

Finally, we looked at Emotion Poems using Sara Holbrook’s simple yet, effective structure.

Reading poems aloud to windows and walls before sharing allows the writer to hear what the reader hears.

All round, it was a day for writing some powerful poetry using a variety of forms and functions. In the next few days the students will hopefully further polish and revise their special words, shaping them into even more powerful pieces.

Here are some examples from these young poets, I believe deserve to have some light shone upon them. Thank you Brighton Poets!


I Can’t Escape, Jack. D

I get called KFC lover                                                      
I get called fat   
All by the same people                                           
I can’t escape

I keep taking them back
They just keep going 
I can’t escape

I get called worthless 
I get pushed hard                                                                               
I can’t escape

I get called laughable 
I get called doughnut master 
I can’t escape

Worst of all
When I fight back
They call me slob 
I can’t escape

They keep begging me to take them back 
I always give in 
I can’t escape

But thank goodness other friends back me up               
Thank God my tormentors don’t go to my school  
Sometimes I can escape



I Am Such Things,  Manasi. D

I am the pitter-patter of the rain                                                       
I am the sourness of your pain                                                          
I am the hands of a clock                                                                   
I am the leader of the flock                                                                 
I am the boxer’s power punch                                                             
I am a very tasty lunch
I am as soft as sand                                                                             
I am the vastness of the land                                                              
I am the song you hum                                                                       
The big boring maths sum                                                                 
I am the cold morning breeze 
The big snooty sneeze                                                                         
I am the complications of a human brain
The sweetness of the sugar cane                                                         
I am the colours of the rainbow
The sharpness of the arrow                                                                
I am your best hunch                                                                          
I am a carrot’s crunch                                                                        
I am a detective novel full of mysteries 
I’m the sailor sailing the seven seas  



Why Does Frozen Have To Exist? Isabella.C

Now, I really hate Disney movies                           
I don’t want Olaf to play all day                                                    
I want to sit and play my games  
I don’t want to build a snowman 
I’d rather watch Peter Pan! 
When will Elsa find out she can’t sing? 
She makes God cry in spring
What will happen to Elsa in summer? 
Will she melt?    
Oh, what a bummer
If there is a book to be read  
I might possibly drop dead
If I have to watch Frozen again
May god have mercy on my soul  
And instantly turn me into a foal
I can’t let it go


This Is Me,  Bella B

I am the rage of the unfed tiger                                  
I am the warmth of the crackling fire    
The sweetness of cinnamon
The bitterness of a lemon 
I have the speed of the waves  
I possess the stamina of a hurricane  
Even though I lack the strength of a bull  
I am never afraid to give things a go
I am the brave creativity of a young child  
Yet ideas may take a while
I have the understanding of a wise elephant 
But I will keep on learning as long as I can



Anger, Andrew T

Paper scrunching                                                          
Floor Stomping                    
Face punching  
Sister hitting 
IPad smashing 
Head bumping 
Voice screaming
Brain bursting  
Throat strangling    
Eye twitching
Anger   


Bored,  Giles

Pencil nibbling
Mind wandering   
Paper doodling
Eye Shutting
Ear blocking
Face palming  
Finger flicking  
Eraser rubbing  
Feet Tapping   
Music playing                                                              
Bored



I Am What You Know,  Jacinta

I am the creepy FNAF character 
Who works at the pizzeria 
I am the Geek  
Creating superheroes every night  
I am the gazelle gracefully leaping   
I am the surf beneath your board that brings you closer
To the ocean
I am the alien from another planet                       
Who will never understand humans
I am the girl with millions of family members, but no grandma to love 
I am the moon at night guiding you
From unimaginable horrors
I am a computer slow to process 
Fast to act   
I am the wind blowing life about   
I am time stalled 
Forever the same                                                                          
I am dynamite, so 
Don’t blow my fuse  
I am a paper page filled with ideas    
I am a sausage     
Who knows what’s inside?    
I am the gumtree growing and growing 
And you can’t cut me down 
I am my Mum’s chocolate no one must touch         
I am the rubber ball  
Pushed down, only to bounce back  
I am a stream of light glowing foreve
I am an amethyst  
Only to be revealed when you break me open
I am me 
Never gonna change

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