America Poems

In honor of/response to inauguration day last week, English I read 3 poems about America by Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and Julia Alvarez (“I hear America Singing,” “I,too,” and “I, too, Sing America”). Then, in groups of 7/8, they created found poems that blended the lines from these poems with their own ideas about what it means to be American.


¡All America!
Maxine, Aaliyah, Kennedy, Chase, Eli, Lizzy, Autumn

Wake up, count your stack, you have to pay to live, to keep up with the pack.
America dabs to every beat that the government makes.
¿Que quenta?
Your words are not priced,
Until you sing justice.
America sings talent.
Belting our canción.
I sing because I am American.
They don’t care about us.
Women make America.
Like reversing to your favorite song.
Your schedule in life is discrete,
Work, eat, sleep, repeat.
Under the sun
Ese sol that shines on everyone
America is rich–us poor.
As divided as oil and water.
I am the darker brother,
Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table.
America is diverse and unique.
America is a mix of emotion.
As strong as a bull.
Besides, they’ll see how beautiful I am.
I, too, sing America.
All of us singing America.
Yo soy Americano.
Whatever happens, you are still American.
All America.


What is the America We Live In?
Alex, Helena, Micki, Aiya, Kameryn, Stajah, Auhn’yai

Arrogance spilled
Flowing like ocean water.
Where the poor build the bridge from one side
But the rich burn it from the other.
The espionage
Spider web of a system
Creeping around to get by.
To the desperate eyes and reaching hands
I know it’s been said before
But not in this voice.
I, too, am America.
They’ll see how beautiful I am.
Even though we live with faults,
We rise with volume.
But we’re not quiet.
All of us singing America
Their strong melodious songs.
Singing our brown skin.
America is unique.
We are all America.


I Am America
Charles, Maunya, Jennifer, Sheanique, Marco, Arturo, Dewon

I hear America singing.
All of us singing America
Into that white and red and blue song.
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to no one else.
It should be blithe and strong.
I, too, am America.
They’ll see how beautiful I am.
The hatter singing as he stands,
Hated, yet praised.
Let America be America again.
Use it to your best ability.
We are a family.


Alex, Helena, Micki, Aiya, Kameryn, Stajah, Auhn’yai

America’s like a bullet proof vest
Like a sunrise in the morning.
I’m going to sing America
With all of America
And grow strong
It’s my turn, to oh say what I see.
America is filled with all kinds of people
That lead to one origin.
Red, white, and blue stripes.
I, too, am America.


I, Too, Am America
Jardyn, Amouree, Neva’eh, Kortez, Ashton, Marquis, Mijah

All of us singing America
It’s my turn to oh say what I see
And grow strong.
America is like mother nature.
One day the weather will be like this
And the next it’s different.
We never know what is going to happen.
We hide from crime
Up the spine of the Mississippi
Through the heartland.
Worrying about the color of our skin
I am the darker brother.
Where we are free.
America is beautiful.
We dress in our wacky colors,
Talk in weird voices.
America is a bouquet of flowers,
But beautiful.
They’ll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed.
But I laugh
As if I owe them something.
Nobody’ll dare say to me,
Eat in the kitchen.
We fight our own battles.
We will not bow
Or break.
I, too, am America.


The Dark Side of America
Mya, Makyla, Jaida, India, Davion, A’Nya, Savannah, Kaycie

I know it’s been said before
I am the darker brother.
Through the deep dark tunnels
That’s been held for years.
America fights like brother and sister.
Most people think America is just violence
Gunshots sing like the fat lady
In an opera house.
Broken promises.
Broken Dreams.
Money hungry
And full of people with greed.
America is like the student who gets the credit
He doesn’t deserve.
America be trippin’
But even though you be trippin’
You still are very unique.
I hear America
All of us singing
Singing with open mouths
Their strong melodious songs.
Belting our brown skin into that white, red, and blue song.
The delicious singing of the mother,
Or of the young wife at work,
Or girl sewing or washing.
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed.
Maybe, just maybe
I like being imperfect.
America they will see
That you shine like the sun.
No one should feel ashamed
To be American.
I am who I am.


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