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The Study of Poetry and Literature for Children & Young Adults

Poetry Break #3: A Poem Written & Published by a Child

Introduction: This poem is for middle and high school students. Especially girls. This could also be posted in the school guidance office to show teens that the issues that arise in friendship are universal.


Friend or Foe
By Danielle Marie Vacca
Age 16
Are you my friend, or are you my foe?
Please tell me now, 'cuz I want to know.
One minute you are there, the next you are gone.
I can't take this anymore, this can't go on.
Friends are supposed to be there for you,
This is something I know.
How can you say things behind my back,
Then turn around and act nice?
How come you act phony all the time?
How come I'm the only one who knows you lie?
Why can't you be a good friend?
Forget about being popular, because it doesn't matter
in the end.
Poetry Extension: This poem is best used in smaller group settings, especially in an all girl group. Read it through once then ask for three volunteers, each one reads a paragraph. Initiate a discussion with facilitating questions. "What do you think the author means? The author is 16, is this a common friendship issue among 16 year olds? Does this remind you of anything that you have experienced or know about?"
Talk about how poetry can be used to express emotions and feelings. Explain that it doesn't have to rhyme. Explain how line breaks add emphasis. Ask the girls to write about something that bothers them in poetry format. Tell them it will not be graded or collected and that they do not need to share their work unless they choose to.
Various Authors, edited by Karen Tom and Kiki. 2001. Angst! Teen Verses from the Edge. New York: Workman. ISBN 0761123830

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

Poetry Break #4