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These Walls

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Lesson: Poets in Revolt!

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Writing

These Walls

By Augustus Griffith Jr.

From the forthcoming anthology, Poets in Revolt!, this poem explores the aftermath and lasting impacts of school shootings.

Level

Grade 11

Type

Poetry

These walls opened me up before they constricted 

But they now obscure the sky, leaving me conflicted 

 

I used to think they were whole 

These walls don’t stretch, they shatter 

I need to let them go 

These walls don’t just bleed, they splatter 

 

These walls betray all the homes they contain 

These walls decay, leaving dust and bones 

 

They lie like false hope they propagate 

They incarcerate all they used to liberate 

With the growth they claim to facilitate 

They don’t repent, they constrict and discriminate 

 

These walls contain water 

I should’ve swam farther 

But I’m drowning 

 

My ID says that I don’t rest 

I cut my foot, I bumped my head 

I jumped the books, I’ll hop a fence 

I hate these walls, they killed my friends 

 

I hate you with the passion that ruined my life 

Troubling thoughts bubble inside 

These walls are frail and I hope they fall 

As we plead for our lives it all slows to a crawl 

                                How many more have to die within these walls?

About the Author

Augustus Griffith Jr. is a devout writer from Parkland, FL. When he isn’t busy creating short films, he hones his craft by writing everything from short stories to sonnets. He has a unique passion for telling conventional stories through unconventional means, and he has been featured in many student publications, along with two books from Penguin Random House and one of his own.

From this lesson

Grades 6–10
Poetry, Visual, Performing, and Media Arts

Poets in Revolt!

by Ola Faleti, 826CHI, with an Introduction by Amanda Gorman, Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the US

Lesson Summary

The pen is mightier than the sword. In this lesson, students learn there's no better evidence of this than the poetry behind social movements.

See more Student Writing at this level

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Poetry

We are not alone

by Jeremy Hsiao, Los Angeles, CA

Writing Sample Summary

From the forthcoming anthology, Poets in Revolt!, this poem reminds activists that "to change everything, we need everyone."

Grades 10–11
Narrative

When Mean Girls Attack

by Tammy Fong, 826NYC

Writing Sample Summary

A soccer-filled, feud-fueled memoir.