An anthology of student poetry.

Welcome to Wonderlicous, an anthology of poetry by the amazing young poets of PS 51. You might want to turn on your imagination before you turn the page: you can flip the invisible switch on the side of your head, or you can ask one of the young poets for their own particular method of “imagination-activation.” The trick is to remember that anything is possible in a poem.

One of the benefits of teaching poetry to kids is that you get to witness these moments when their words appear on the page, one after the other, and suddenly a sparkling new poem is born. Where did it come from? We look at each other with surprise and delight, and we feel excited about the possibilities. Instead of worrying about “doing it right” or making mistakes, we experiment, play, dance our pencils across the page and discover what can happen when we allow our imaginations to take the wheel.

Nothing makes me happier than to see my students “make friends” with poetry. I have seen how the freedom and fun that we experience while writing poems can help us to see ourselves as writers. Poetry opens us up to the expressive possibilities of language. As Victoria Jamarino writes, “Poem, you make me write a thousand times easier.” Borneal Chakraborty asks, “Poetry, are you actually one of the best tools in writing?” We at Teachers & Writers Collaborative believe the answer is YES, but I’ll let these extraordinary poems speak for themselves.

We are very grateful to Elaine Clark and all the folks at ING for supporting the Teachers & Writers program and for making this poetry magic possible. Thank you to Ms. Sing-Bock, the awesome principal of PS 51, for fostering an atmosphere where creativity is celebrated and valued every day, and to Ms. Pi, Ms. Chiu, and Ms. Miller, for welcoming me into your classrooms and collaborating every step of the way. A special shout out to Jin Dassy who, inspired by E. E. Cummings’ example of “squishing words together,” coined our one-of-a-kind title: Wonderlicious! This anthology is dedicated to the imagination-fantastic, word-magnificent 2nd-grade poets of PS 51. Always remember: you are poets, and you know it, and you’ve got your whole lives to show it!

Matthew Burgess
April 2017

Featured Poems:

I Am
by Anthony, 2nd grade

I am the sun of the dinosaurs.
I am the imagination that creates.
I am the earth that lives forever.
I am the rock of a feather.
I am a proud galaxy that is smooth
and beautiful and full of adventure.
I love the earth with adventure.
I love the blue sky that lives forever.
I can do anything I want to be
and anything is possible.
I want to be what I say.

by Synthia, 2nd grade

It’s winter when
the world is Christmas-pumped
and Santa’s reindeers
go “plop” when they get
on the little kids’ houses.
It’s winter when the world
is snow-awesome
because the little kids
are going weee in
the snow.

Click here to read the full anthology!

Teachers & Writers Magazine is published by Teachers & Writers Collaborative as a resource for teaching the art of writing to people of all ages. The online magazine presents a wide range of ideas and approaches, as well as lively explorations of T&W’s mission to celebrate the imagination and create greater equity in and through the literary arts.