This is a profound and touching collection of poetry written by children, grades 3 through 8, revealing their perceptions and feelings about love, Spirit, and the 'power of dreams,' including highly insightful comments on death, homelessness, angels, violence, and some very personal prayers for peace. These children paint dramatic and surprisingly articulate descriptions of their world, as seen through painfully honest eyes, including some sobering fears for the disappearing natural environment around them.
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I am not the 'author,' but rather the teacher and editor of this collection of student poems.
Having taught children to write their own poetry for over eleven years, I've read poems about cousins who were shot to death, brothers set aflame in back alleys, homelessness, abandonment, and grave concerns for the natural environment they are keenly aware of losing. But most striking is the depth of the children's sensitivity and courage, in the face of these events - their comprehension of the fragility of their world as a whole, in need of protection.
This is a collection of those pieces that were most representative of what I've been seeing over the years. Some of their work takes a refreshing, almost tongue-in-cheek attitude toward even the gravest of circumstances, as in fifth grader Geroge Barnes' poem, One Black Hole: "1 Robber,/ 1 murderer,/ 1 gangbanger,/ 1 pack of cigarettes,/ 1 picture of the person you hate most,/ 15 sucky games,/ the riots,/ 1gun,/ 1 knife,/ 1 bottle of liquor,/ 1 jacked up car,/ one song that makes women feel bad,/ and a partridge in a pear tree/ Now you have a black hole ..."
Students see poetry as an honest and accessible outlet for expressing their most terrifying fears, startling secrets, and tender, often exhilarating dreams. One of the scores of student poets I've worked with says simply: "I LOVE Poetry - because I can express my feelings and get all my frustrations and anger out. Poetry makes me feel good about myself."- Ashlee Hitchcock, grade 6.About the Author:
Sita Stulberg has worked for eleven years as a poet-consultant for California Poets In The Schools. She is currently the Coordinator for Los Angeles. Her prose and poetry have appeared in literary journals and magazines such as Onthebus, The New Los Angeles Poets, Truth And Lies That Press For Life, Vol No, Mid Air, Poison Ivy, Fuori di Testa (in Italy,) and Earthkeeper Magazine. Her books include: Before the Swan, Spare Change & Fist-Chested Women, Listening for Eternity, and Abutilon.
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