>Lydia’s Not Poem

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Today is the first day of school and, in honor of that, I’m going to publish a poem written by a 4th grader named Lydia. I taught a poetry workshop to her class a few years ago, using Kenneth Koch’s lesson plans on teaching poetry to kids. This poem is what he calls a “not poem:”

Not Poem

I am Lydia
I am not a baseball bat
I am not a tuna sandwich
I am not a green candy heart
I am Lydia

I am not an insurance agent
I am not a manufactured house
I am not a magnolia
I am Lydia
I am good at poetry

I am not good at jumping as high as the Grand Canyon
I am not good at talking Japanese
I am not good at flying across the ocean
I am good at poetry.

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