CRAFT STUDIO: CAST AWAY: POEMS FOR OUR TIME
What I Was Reading:
Cast Away: Poems For our Time by Young People’s Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye is a collection of poems about trash that will inspire any reader to take more care regarding the things we leave behind. Recommended for ages 10+, the poems are accessible, relevant, and relatable. Here is one of the poems in the collection:
Trash Talk 326
Did anyone ever say you were their girlfriend
or boyfriend and you barely even knew them?
Did they tell your friends they had insight
and could guess what you might do next?
Did they say you called them when you
didn’t even know their number?
What did you do about people like this?
Did you argue, tell them off?
Or walk calmly past them in the hallway
as if they were a locker or a clock?
What Moves I Noticed the Writer Making:
- The poet speaks directly to the reader (you), which creates a sense of intimacy between poet and reader
- The poet tells a story by asking a series of questions
- The poet never tells the reader how she feels about the situation. Her feelings are inferred through the questions she chooses to ask
- The first three stanzas set up the problem and the last two stanzas is where she is asking how others have handled the situation
Possibilities for Writers:
- Use the format of the poem (asking questions of the reader) to tell your own story of an event/situation
- Write the story of what you think happened between the poet and this person
- Write back to the poet, answering the questions as they pertain to you
- Write a letter of advice to the poet on what to do if she is ever in this situation again