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By: Julie Moulton, Patrice Pinette, and the students of the KCE Beginner English as a Second Language (ESL) class
These poems were created in response to the book Wangari's Trees of Peace, and written by students at Keene Community Education as part of their Connections book discussion this past spring. The story of Wangari and the vision she nurtured into reality truly moved our students. Her vision was to bring "green" back to her village in Africa by planting trees. Of course, that brought back many colors, sounds, smells, and feelings that had gone when her land had been deforested.
Patrice, the Connections facilitator, gave the students a template with lines that all started with "Green, you..." followed by words such as "move like,” “sound like," and "taste like," and expanded from the senses to questions about where green comes from, green’s favorite words, and, finally, “Green, you teach us…”
Before writing, the class shared ideas, images, and words, which were written on the board; for some students, having a number of choices visible made it easier to begin. These students are all very much beginner English learners, but they all understood the whole idea of 'green' as a metaphor, and there was no hesitation whatsoever to jump into the activity.
Green, you taste like apple,
you move like a dancer,
you sound like song.
Green, your touch is like wind,
and your fragrance is like vanilla.
You come from the forest.
Your favorite word is peace.
Green, you teach us kindness.
I advocate for all the salads.
I move like a tree,
my touch is cool, tree-power,
and soft as sheep’s wool.
My fragrance is like mint and vanilla.
My favorite words are green eyes, broccoli and birds.
I come from the Caribbean Sea and the beach,
and I teach you peace.
Green, you taste like honey.
You move like swaying.
You sound like a piano.
Your touch is like tree power.
Green, your fragrance is like nature.
You come from grateful,
and your favorite word is healthy.
Green, you teach us love.
Green, you taste like cucumber.
You move like dance.
You sound like piano.
Your touch is cool.
Green, your fragrance is like food.
You come from trees.
Your favorite word is spoon.
Green, you teach us presents and giving.
Green, you taste like mint and sun.
You sound like thunder and loyalty.
Green, your touch is like cool tenderness.
Your fragrance is like vanilla.
You come from hope and dream,
and your favorite word is love.
Green, you teach us peace and liberty.
Green, you taste like honey,
cilantro, grapes and lime.
You move like dance, swaying leaves.
You sound like violin, piano, harp, thunder and rain.
Your touch is like cool tree-power, sheep’s wool, ground, and velvet grass.
Green, your fragrance is like mint and vanilla.
You come from trees, and your favorite words are leaves and green pepper.
Green, you teach us peace, kindness and patience.
Green, you taste like pepper.
You move like mint.
You sound like cucumber.
Your touch is like broccoli
and your fragrance is like apple.
Green, you come from broccoli.
Your favorite word is cilantro.
Green, you teach us grass.
Green, you taste like broccoli,
spinach, and apple.
Green, you move like dance, swaying.
You sound like flute, harp, thunder, and rain.
Your touch is cool, tree-power, ground and grass.
Your fragrance is like mint, vanilla, flowers.
Green, you come from Venezuela!
Your favorite words are faith, hope and love.
Green, you teach us peace and kindness.
New Hampshire Humanities programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or New Hampshire Humanities.