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What Is Freedom?

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Lesson: Poets in Revolt!

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Writing

What Is Freedom?

By Regina

From the forthcoming anthology, Poets in Revolt!, this poem expresses the realization that a cage is not the only obstacle to a bird's freedom.

Level

Grade 10

Type

Poetry

Is it a bird free of its cage,

told to be free and to roam

the heavens as she pleases?

No, there is no freedom

There will always be obligations,

responsibilities, faux motivations.

She flies through gardens

rosy, pink, and cute.

Intrigued she’s lured

only to her feet with thorns.

Her feathers tangled and damaged

by powerful winds carrying her

places of heartache and sorrow.

Lessons, ethics, and values obstruct

and pull at her Achilles heel

dragging her bruised feet to the

very ground she desperately wants

to leave.

She struggles with this freedom

as her head is filled with ideas

but her talons are dragged

to the ground.

About the Author

Regina is the type of person who, when you first meet her, seems very quiet. She is, in fact, the opposite. She is loud. She is a very big nerd and, when asked, she said that she believed that Bill Nye would win the Hunger Games against Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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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Managing to Find Joy

by Luciana, Grade 10, 826 MSP

Writing Sample Summary

In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, a sophomore at South High School in Minneapolis gives thanks to Children’s Hospital employees.

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Narrative, Persuasive

I Can Only Imagine

by Tala, Grade 10, 826 MSP

Writing Sample Summary

In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, 10th grader Tala asks essential workers what motivates them to keep going during these difficult times, offering her own views on hope for the future.