Inside the Box, a Tiger

Click here to read the full anthology!

It’s been a delight to continue working with the students and faculty at PS188Q this year. This year I directed our focus towards finding freedom within form, or rather, exploring the ways in which artistic constraints can encourage creativity. We became poetic formalists this year, learning about rhyme scheme, odes, ballads, sonnets and sestinas. Through our focus on form, we discovered gorgeous imagery, playful language and learned that in a poem, truly anything can happen.

During our time together, we read poetry by Pablo Neruda, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Elizabeth Bishop, Naomi Shihab Nye, Gabriela Mistral, and Wanda Coleman, among others. We deepened our listening skills, listening to the world around us as well as the music of words coming together in specific patterns. We wrote – a lot.

PS188Q is a school that truly nurtures creativity and learning. Thank you Mr. Carneiro, Ms. Garcia, Ms. Torres, Ms. Wingenfeld, and Ms. Toth for welcoming me into your classrooms. Thank you Principal Carneiro for making this residency possible. And of course a big, huge, enormous thank you to the Third and Fourth Gifted and Talented students of PS188Q for the beautiful words you shared with me!

Amina Henry


Featured Poems


Ode to Da Pencil
by Joshua (4th grade)

I see you
You are a spear
And a sword
You look like a key
You bring life
You stand out

by Serena (3rd grade)

Blank as the sky
White like a cloud
Lonely and sad
Come here, please
A little girl listens to the call
She looks around and spots the paper
The girl walks to the paper
She smiles and winks
takes ink and a feather
writes and draws
The girl changed the paper to a poem

A little boy comes her way
Skipping, hopping, leaping, jumping
Takes the girl away for a dinner
Sadly the ink fades away
The wind takes away the paper
Sweep, into a new world of imagination




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