Self-Portrait Poetry Anthology

This anthology includes ten or more poems that "speak to me."

My Little Brother

posted Nov 3, 2012, 10:44 AM by Maureen Devlin

My Little Brother: A Poem that Speaks to Me

My Little Brother

My teacher says to use
metaphors and similes
whenever we write poems.

My brother Tom swoops in
like an F5 tornado
and destroys my bedroom.

He’s a human wrecking ball
    that crashes through my room
            leaving trampled toys behind

            But I’d rather write it like this:
            I’ve got an evil little brother.
              And just
                     
                              

Poem Title:   My Little Brother

Author: Ralph Fletcher

Reading Response
This poem speaks to me because I had a little brother who was a “wrecking ball." The words, “leaving trampled toys behind,” remind me of how my brother used to wreck my toys.  In fact, one time when I came home from the hospital with a new doll, my brother was so jealous that he took the head off the doll and threw the doll in the mud. Also, the phrase, “I’ve got an evil little brother,” provides a portrait of me because when I was young, I sometimes thought my brother was evil. I would recommend this poem to people who have little brothers or sisters because it shows that little brothers and sisters can be “evil” sometimes.  I bet they think the same about their older brothers and sisters.  .

Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

posted Oct 1, 2011, 9:45 AM by Maureen Devlin   [ updated Nov 1, 2012, 1:22 PM ]

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to got to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet 
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

YouTube Video



This poem speaks to me because when I was young I had to go to bed "by day" on summer evenings.  Even though it was summer and the sun stayed bright until 8 o'clock, my mother kept our winter bedtime of 7p.m.  I remember lying bed wearing my baby dolls (that was what we called our lightweight, cotton tops and bathing-suit like bottom pajamas) listening to all the noises outside and wishing that I didn't have to be in bed.  The words, "And I should like so much to play," describes exactly how I felt laying in my bed by the window on those bright summer nights.  The phrase, "The birds still hopping on the tree," paints a portrait of my summer nights because I would lie there listening to the birds chirp outside.  I would recommend this poem to people who like to remember moments in their childhood or to think about summer nights.  I like the playful, happy, child-like tone of this poem and many other poems by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Do you?



HARRIET TUBMAN by Eloise Greenfield

posted Sep 27, 2011, 8:00 AM by Maureen Devlin

Harriet Tubman didn't take no stuff
Wasn't scared of nothing neither
Didn't come in this world to be no slave
And wasn't going to stay one either

"Farewell!" she sang to her friends one night
She was mighty sad to leave 'em
But she ran away that dark, hot night
Ran looking for her freedom

She ran to the woods and she ran through the woods
With the slave catchers right behind her
And she kept on going till she got to the North
Where those mean men couldn't find her

Nineteen times she went back South
To get three hundred others
She ran for her freedom nineteen times
To save Black sisters and brothers
Harriet Tubman didn't take no stuff
Wasn't scare of nothing neither
Didn't come in this world to be no slave
And didn't stay one either

       And didn't stay one either



Reflection

This poem speaks to me because I really enjoy learning about history, particularly the history of strong women.  The words,"Ran looking for her freedom" remind me of my own life because I like my freedom and have always made choices to be more free in my life.  Also, the phrase, "And didn't stay one either," provides a portrait of me because I have always chased my dreams and tried to make a life that I believed in.  Harriet Tubman is one of my heroes because she helped to make the world a better place by working against slavery and leading many enslaved African Americans to freedom in America.  Later she helped out in the Civil War too.  I would recommend this poem to people who are interested in American history especially the terrible tragedy of slavery.

Bedroom Ocean

posted Sep 20, 2011, 6:04 AM by Maureen Devlin   [ updated Sep 20, 2011, 10:02 AM ]

Bedroom Ocean

By Ralph Fletcher

 

Dad says: Go to sleep,

But instead I lie in bed,

Pretending. . . .

 

The darkness is the ocean.

These fingers are seaweed

Floating this way and that.

 

My oyster eyelids

Slowly open and close.

My eyes shine like pearls.

 

 




This poem speaks to me because when I was young, my father would say to me, “Go to sleep, Maureen,” but I couldn’t sleep.  I wanted to make up stories.  The words, “But instead I lie in bed,/Pretending “ remind me of  the nights I would lie awake “drawing my dreams” in a notebook  I kept hidden under my bed. Also, the phrase, “ My eyes shine like pearls.” provides a portrait of me because my heart would shine when I wrote those stories.  I felt all warm and happy inside.  I would recommend this poem to people who are dreamers because it tells the story of a dreamer, writer and artist, Ralph Fletcher, who would lie in bed at night pretending with sea metaphors and similes.

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