Poetry is. . .

According to Robert Frost, poetry is “when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” To Carl Sandburg, poetry is “an echo, asking a shadow how to dance.” Emily Dickinson wrote a poem about poetry “To see the Summer Sky/ Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie -/ True Poems flee.”

When the 6th graders are introduced to poetry, I read them several poet’s thoughts on poetry, and then I ask them how they define poetry. Here’s what they said and some poems that they wrote soon after. Each author was asked to write about their favorite place; they each have their own color.

Author 1

“Poetry is the loving art of rhyming random words and becoming famous. Poetry is the color cherry.”


Ukrainian pizza place

I arrive at a place where an unknown pizza lays on the table,

I arrive where a new ceiling is above me.

I arrive at this pizza place,

An eating place for me.

Oh waiter of the food! The customer humbly offers his money to buy food for himself.

Author 2

“Poetry is someone’s thoughts or feelings. It’s something about someone, something, or the person’s culture, society, government, and their rights and economy.” 


This place is hot, 

Its beautiful sites

It was the place that I flew a kite, 

It’s where I was, 

it’s my homeland, 

its the south, 

it also is the state

that has most of my relatives, 

it’s Arizona.

Author 3 “Poetry is the words that make a person warm, sad, happy, and confused.”


There are three people who I love

My sister, mother and father

Home is my best place, because they are there

There are also many things I can do

I can eat food, play games, sleep, and talk

Home is my best place, because I can do those things there

Even though there are some bugs and it is not clean,

home is my best place!

Because there is my family

Author 4 “[Poetry is] Words that describe something you like or don’t like. Poetry can be beautiful or sad. It expresses feeling, like how you are feeling right now.”


My place is where I was raised, I spent all of my life

in the Caucuses where almost everything is fresh. The

language was easy but difficult sometimes. 

How I would love to see my home again. 

How i would love to see my old friends again. 

How i would love to play in the streets again. 

How I would love to see my place again. 

My place Azerbaijan! 

Author 5 “[Poetry] is boring.” 


Hello Seoul. 

My home, my friend. 

Hello Seoul.

Many food, many friend

Hello Seoul

People, buildings, cars.

Hello Seoul

every time has sound. 

Bye Seoul. 

Let’s meet 2 years later. 

I miss you. 

Author 6 “Poetry is horrible! I think poetry is boring and everything besides good. Poetry is a story usually with rhythm or rhyming. Sometimes it doesn’t rhyme, but then it sounds bad. I would say poetry is blackest black.”


A place of comfort for me is home

Where I was born in the morn

Where the sky is bright to my eye

And where I eat with delight

I can feel the floor covered in a rug after getting a hug instantly when coming home.

Author 7


I live over here in Moscow, 

But my place is far away. 

Way over in the USA, 

I would like to stay, 

There I was born, 

And lived for years. 

When i remember it, 

It makes me drop some tears. 

There I keep all my fears and smiles, 

My first laugh, secrets, and first cry. 

I think: how far is it until, 

These memories die?

it’d be so painful to forget, 

Such moments in my life.