The Queen of Quiet

Welcome into the magical realm of The Queen of Quiet, an anthology of poetry by the talented second-grade poets of PS 51. Have you activated your imagination yet? Simply turn the invisible switch beside your eyes, or invent your own method on the spot! The important thing is to remember that anything is possible in poetry, so when we read and write in this way, we give ourselves plenty of permission to play, to explore, and to imagine.

Like Abir Mondal, we can transform into “a golden ninja” and break dance our way to victory: “Shang! Dang! Bang!” We can join Olie Hickman at Piney Point Park in Florida to watch the quiet majesty of Sandhill Cranes: “when I glimpse you at 4:30 PM I see you blend into the sunset.” We can squish words together in celebration of spring weather like Mia Sornoza: “backflip-wow, poem-beautiful, swimsuit-fantastic.” And we can listen to the wisdom of Sophia Cedeno’s soul, reminding us to “BE STRONG, HAVE FUN!”

Click here to read the entire anthology!

The title of this year’s anthology arrived while we were composing odes to our favorite animals. When I asked Nyla Vanterpool which animal she would choose, she quickly answered “wolf.” The she leaned a little closer and told me that she already had a line in mind: “Wolf, you are the queen of quiet.” I handed Nyla a piece of paper and asked her to begin writing without any further delay. When inspiration strikes, poets should pick up their pencils and proceed to the page pronto! Little did I know that other amazing lines would precede this one, such as Nyla’s captivating opening: “Wolf, your eyes look like the moon brightly poured in your eyes.”

This tremendous experience would not have been possible without the generous support of Elaine Clark and everyone at ING. Thank you for supporting this wonderful partnership with Teachers & Writers Collaborative. We also wish to thank Mr. Ryan Bourke and Ms. Dana Goldberg, principal and assistant principal of PS 51; the incredibly warm and supportive 2nd grade teachers, Ms. Pi, Ms. Chui, and Ms. Evarts; the para and student teachers who always lend a hand, Ms. Corona, Ms. Lowe, and Ms. Gallagher. We were very fortunate to have the additional magic of Matthew Brailas, education associate at T&W, whose presence and assistance were invaluable. A final “thank you” goes to the second-grade poets of PS 51, whose poems fill these pages. Your humor, playfulness, and intelligence are an inspiration to us all. And to our readers, a request: ask one of these poets to read a poem aloud, and while they are reading, become the best listener imaginable. For a few moments, transform yourself into a queen of quiet, fully attuned to this young poet’s one-of-a-kind voice.

Matthew Burgess
May 2018




Featured Poem


Ode to Wolf
by Nyla (2nd grade) 

Wolf, your eyes
look like the moon
brightly poured
in your eyes. Wolf,
your howl sounds
like you are screaming
for help. Tip-toe,
tip-toe. Wolf, you are
the queen of quiet.
Tip-toe, tip-toe,
tip-toe, tip-toe.
Wolf, you are my
lord in the deep
blue sky. Wolf,
you are so cute,
strong, brave,
and loud. You will
always be my wolf!!!
(my wolf)
(my wolf)
Yes, my wolf,
my wolf, my wolf.
(my wolf)

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