Giraffes, how did they make Carmen? Well, you see, Carmen ate the prettiest rose in the world and then just then the great change of heaven occurred and she became the prettiest girl in the world and because I love her.
Lions, why does your mane flame like fire of the devil? Because I have the speed of the wind and the strength of the earth at my command.
Oh Kiwi, why have you no wings? Because I have been born with the despair to walk the earth without the power of flight and am damned to do so.
Oh bird of flight, why have you been granted the power to fly? Because I was meant to sit upon the branch and to be with the wind.
Oh crocodile, why were you granted the power to slaughter your fellow animal? I do not answer.
—Chip Wareing, 5th grade, PS 61
Last year at PS 61 in New York City I taught my third-through-sixth-grade students poems by Blake, Donne, Shakespeare, Herrick, Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, and