Poetry Collection: inspired by “homage to my hips”

Poetry is the most emotional form of literature– providing poets with the opportunity to express their feelings through symbolism, rhythmic measures, metaphors, and more. The IB juniors in Ms. Van Duyne’s class recently studied the works of Lucille Clifton, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a former Poet Laureate of Maryland. Lucille Clifton is most prominently known for writing short, impactful poems in lowercase letters. One of the most distinguished poems by Clifton is “homage to my hips” from her collection of poems titled Two-Headed Woman. She wrote this poem as an appreciation for her body and femininity. 

The students in Ms. Van Duyne’s classes made their own “homage” poems to appreciate the little things in their own lives. Here are some of these poems:

homage to these curls

By SPHS Student

these curls are puffy

and glowy and bright and

they need water and cream and patience, to shine and shimmer correctly

in the morning sun.

they don’t conform to a hairbrush

to a skin tone

to a stereotype, a caricature, these curls are their own.

they curl how they want.

they think how they want.

sometimes in the morning, i have known them

to refuse a proper combing and instead

go their own way!


homage to my broken toe

By Lara Slager

broken toe broken toe

oh where oh where did you go

you are gone away and in the past

you didn’t heal very fast


i couldn’t pickle

i couldn’t ball

all because of a stupid fall


i was in a boot for so long

it had me singing a somber song

one gray, big and tall

the other black, light and small


but what i really mean to say 

is broken toe stay away!


a sacred star

By SPHS Student

this star is bright  

its rays bring light  

they bring the morning  

and the night. these times are lively.  

these rays bring life. 


they bring might 

they rule the day  

they right the wrong 

they bring salvation to the sinful 

it is a challenge but, 

this is what they do  


this star shines  

it is a shelter to many  

it is special, strong, symbolic 

it is sometimes sassy and can sizzle skin 



its rays are suspected  

they are not scared  

they free the fear 

they do not like to be held back  

this is who they are 

this star saves the day! 


Homage to Family

By Luis Carranza

My family is a big family

We fly and travel

Party and play

“We do everything together” is what they’d say


They are always there through thick and thin

Like a plant but stronger within

They help me laugh and grow

They help me to just keep my flow


Skinned knees,

Climbing trees,

My family is always there

Helping to ease,


For without them,

I am a flower with no stem,

I am a car with no wheels,

Who would want to know just how that feels!


homage to my lungs 

By Hailey Clayton

my lungs are healthy lungs.

ever since air was breathed into them, 

they have kept me alive. 

my lungs have power 

my lungs are strong

they have never been held back from any disease.

my lungs.

my lungs long for the soft air. 

as they breathe through the day 

as they breathe through the night. 

my lungs.

I have known my lungs

to survive the day and 

breathe others into life.


homage to my feet (i play soccer)

By SPHS Student

these feet are small feet

they need a field to 

kick around in.

they don’t look nice in tight

stiff heels. these feet 

are are athletic feet.

they don’t like to be squished and squeezed.

these feet move fast,

they run where they want to

they kick what they want to.

these feet are powerful feet.

these feet are million dollar feet.

i have known them 

to put trance on a ball and

flip them like a bottle!


homage to hugs

By SPHS Student

these hugs are warm hugs

they need the right person.

they are not to be little and

loveless. these hugs

are tight hugs.

they don’t like to be half-

hearted. these hugs have

never been hostile, they

hold who they want to hold

they help who they want to help.

these hugs are meaningful hugs.

these hugs are magic hugs.

i have known them

to cure some of the toughest

times one can survive!


homage to my passport

By Paloma Welch

my passport takes me places

it lets me learn about 

cultures and countries

and adventures.


my passport puts me on planes

it lets me leave

to soar like a seagull

 to escape.


my passport holds memories

recurring stamps remind me:

oh, the places i’ve gone!

empty pages emphasize:

oh, the places i’ll go!


homage to my rice 

By Zachary Brayer

This Rice is my rice 

it needs a rice cooker to 

be cooked in.

it doesn’t tolerate inferior crockpots.

This Rice was once free rice, 

it grew up in grand fields 

with space to roam around.


This Rice is special rice 

it has been known to be 

displayed in many dishes 

throughout the decades 

and fed countless mouths.


This Rice is nutritious rice.

This Rice is wonderful rice.

This Rice is my rice.


homage to movies

By SPHS Student

these movies are glamorous movies

that need space to be seen with attention.

they will be shown in

silly cinemas. these movies

are gripping movies. 

they don’t like to let go. 

from one night in vienna to a lifetime in new york, 

they go where they want to go 

they do what they want to do. 

these movies are smart movies. 

these movies are magic movies.

i have known them 

to tell and sell stories of

boys in business and

girls driving off cliffs!


 homage to my house

By SPHS Student

this house is not a large house, 

yet many call it home.

there is always more room here 

there are hands

waiting to help the next guest.


this house nurtures and feeds.

there is a girl preparing milk for an orphaned goat 

this house has pots awaiting plants to crawl out of 

there is a dad changing the diaper of the dog


this family is not full

there is room for reptiles,

by bearded dragons or beside iguanas. 

i have known this house

to have a green thumb and

press on things till they thrive!