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The Study of Poetry and Literature for Children & Young Adults

Poetry Break #3: A Poem by Judith Viorst


Introduction: This poem is good for first grade through middle school. It is a poem about missing a friend who has moved away and feeling miserable. Even children experience those feelings of anger, pain and loss.

Since Hanna Moved Away
By Judith Viorst
The tires on my bike are flat.
The sky is grouchy gray.
At least it sure feels like that
Since Hanna moved away.
Chocolate ice cream tastes like prunes.
December's come to stay.
They've taken back the Mays and Junes.
Since Hanna moved away.
Flowers smell like halibut.
Velvet feels like hay.
Every handsome dog's a mutt
Since Hanna moved away.
Nothing's fun to laugh about.
Nothing's fun to play.
They call me but I won't come out
Since Hanna moved away.
Poetry Extension: This is a good rainy day activity. Read this poem to a class of fourth graders. Read slowly emphasizing the sentences with similes. Then talk about the poem, "Can chocolate ice cream really taste like prunes?" Tell the children to write their own grouchy poem and to find unusual similes. The moral is, "It is okay to feel grouchy sometimes."
On a sunny day, reverse the exercise and have the children write happy comparison poetry.
This poem could also be used in enabling children to have sympathy for a fellow student that is having a rough time due to a loss.
Viorst, Judith. 1981. If I were in charge of the world and other worries. Ill. by Lynne Cherry. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0689308639

Click on the following link to proceed to the next poetry break

Module 2, Poetry Break #4