He’s a poet; he just doesn’t know it.

September 11th, 2013

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because good writing deserves good grammar.

“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.”

Winston Churchill

I was passing through my bedroom with a load of laundry the other night when I saw my 12 year-old slumped over my writing desk, his forehead pressed to a sheet of paper. 

“Stuck with something?”

“This,” he groaned, lifting his head and pointing to a blank worksheet. “This…it’s….”

Words failed, evidently. I read the assignment. 

“Metaphors! I love metaphors. They’re fun. Really.” He looked at me like I had just come upon his parched body in the desert and was suggesting we build a sand castle.

I turned the worksheet over to the blank side. “Okay, choose something you want to describe. Then make a list of adjectives that tell about it. Then you look at that list and you think of things that are also like those things. Just start writing–something will come to you, I promise.”

 “And pick a subject you really want to write about,” I said, picking up my basket. “You can write about your dog, or Minecraft, if you want.”

“I think I’ve got something,” he said, picking up his pencil. 

Friends, I give you the voice of a generation. Or at least eighth period English class.


Poems are hard

by Jonah, in seventh grade


Poems are giant boulders.

They’re impossible to get off the ground

Poems are thunderstorms

knocking you over and making it hard to get back up.

Poems are a fire

constantly eating away at your flesh.

Poems are an anchor

weighing you down all the the time.

Poems are hard.

I couldn’t get this to rhyme.


This post is sponsored by Grammarly.com, an online spell and grammar checking application that helps users find and correct English writing issues. Grammarly provides context and correction suggestions about grammar, spelling, vocabulary usage and plagiarism.  Regrettably, it will not do your seventh grade English homework for you. 

13 Responses to “He’s a poet; he just doesn’t know it.”

  1. marilee pittman says:

    another poet in the family. I love the strength of the poem and poet.

  2. Poppy Herrin says:

    Love this!

  3. Rene Foran says:

    Dear Jonah,
    You are correct
    Poems are all of those things
    but when you get your thoughts together
    and all the words lined up
    and they start resembling
    a sound you heard or
    something you tasted or felt
    or even a house
    it is magic.

  4. Alana says:

    He has the gift. Poor kid. 😉

  5. Yes, I’m afraid there have been signs since infancy. 🙂

  6. C Nelson says:

    But….you DID make it rhyme.

  7. Janice says:

    Wow! I wish somehow had taught me how to write metaphors the way you did. Awesome.

  8. Corbin C says:

    The passion in his writing is remarkable! The kid is gifted.

    I remember one of my first poems:

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Grass is green
    Dirt is brown

  9. Jeanetta says:

    I love the minds of kids. You know when they aren’t plotting against us.

  10. dida says:

    Just so true and awesome. You had me at, “Poems are hard.”

  11. […]  And he has a wicked and subversive sense of humor, as seen in my post that featured his seventh grade English homework a while […]

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