The Power of Poetry

The Power of Poetry

Potomac Elementary fifth-graders display their poetic skills in their Fifth Grade Museum.

As parents and students filed out of the auditorium, Linda Goldberg was wiping her eyes.

“I have never sat in a performance like this before and wept through three quarters of it,” said Golberg. “And I’ve already seen it before.”

The musical and poetic performance in the gymnasium capped Potomac Elementary’s Fifth Grade Museum on Monday night, titled “Pop Into Poetry.” The students have spent the last two months reading and learning poetry and worked with Gayle Danley, a slam poet and artist-in-residence. Using Danley’s Five Steps to Slam, the students learned how to create and perform their own slam poems, and they did so in Monday’s performance before a gymnasium packed with their parents and families.

The evening began with the students leading a tour through the school’s hallways, where their work was displayed on construction paper and posterboard. The performance part of the event followed, with the students reciting their slam poems, performing group tableaus and the orchestra playing such musical selections as Glen Miller’s “Little Brown Jug and All That Jazz.”

Danley capped the evening by performing two of her slam poems—“Mother,” and “Two Pearls,” and receiving a standing ovation from the audience.

Afterward, parents were impressed with what they saw.

“This goes back to what how our ancestors entertained themselves by telling stories,” said Dan Buckingham, whose daughter Mary.

“Poetry is generally a form of expression that intimidates kids,” said Cary Buckingham, Mary’s mother. “This was really impressive.”