Love Poems to Landmarks
Above: Dave Johnson adjusts the mic for a P.S. 276 second grader reading his poem from an anthology of student work. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib
Last month students from P.S. 89, P.S. 276 and P.S. 1 gathered at Poets House in Battery Park City to celebrate the publication of their work in an anthology.
And the bravest of the bunch stood at the mic and read them.
“You’re doing exactly what the pros are doing,” poet Dave Johnson told a group of third-grade authors assembled for a reading. “They write and publish their poems and read them right here at Poets House.”
Johnson and Poets House Education Director Mike Romanos had worked with the kids in their schools. The theme: landmarks, both personal and monumental.
“With all the testing that was going on, it was a nice break and a nice way to introduce poetry in a genuine and realistic way,” said P.S. 1 teacher Helen Yu.
Below, a sampling of their work.
Letter to the World Trade Center
Dear World Trade Center,
I love when your beautiful light
light up at midnight.
Why are you so tall, and why
do you light up in the night?
My dad might work in your building
My favorite thing
you are a triangle shape.
—Lilyka Visser, 2nd grade, P.S. 276
300 Rector Place
Awesome, there are so many floors.
Awesome, the doorman is Spanish.
Awesome, in my apartment full of stuff.
Awesome, we have lots of stairs.
Awesome, we have a gym.
—Kaciann James, 2nd grade, P.S. 276
Letter to Mrs. Financial Center
Dear Mrs. Financial Center,
I love that you have great stores
and when will the construction stop?
My favorite thing about you is
that every year you do construction.
—Olivia Eliseo, 2nd grade, P.S. 276
What beautiful flowers circling around.
What a big water rainbow in the middle of them.
What fun it could be during the warm sunny days of summer.
Time ongoing, the light and warmth.
What a beautiful sight in a big, open space just sitting there.
What a wonderful sight
Bowling Green is!
—Siobhan Kramer, 2nd grade, P.S. 276
Ode to the Hudson River
You are more awesome
than the Winter Garden.
You are like the biggest puddle in New York
O Hudson River!
You are my puddle.
—Henry Ridge, 2nd grade, P.S. 276
Ode to the Winter Garden
O Winter Garden!
You are amazing!
O Winter Garden!
You are like a castle
in the sky for everybody.
O Winter Garden!
You are my warm place.
—Jennifer Pillai, 2nd grade, P.S. 276
Love is in your shop.
It is as pretty as the light
of the Empire State Building.
Love is in your cupcake.
Every cupcake is different
like every person in the world.
Love screams in each cookie,
like a giant heart.
Love your cakes.
They’re so realistic.
It is like I am in cake land.
Love pictures are everywhere
in each chocolate.
—Maria Bravo, 2nd grade, P.S. 276
Wow, how everybody
walks at any
speed, fast or slow, no
need to run, crowded
streets filled with lots
—Sofia Hom, 3rd grade, P.S. 89
The students like giant tides!
The giant room like living rooms.
The hallways like long tunnels.
The books on bookshelves, like never ending rivers.
The fabulous books take you on an adventure.
—Benny Wen, 4th grade, P.S. 1
South Street Seaport
What makes you keep on spending your money like you’re rich?
What gives you a cool ocean breeze?
What makes you hungrier than an unfed pig?
What gives you the feeling of rushing water?
What makes you never want to leave?
—Jolin Jang, 4th grade, P.S. 1