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The 8th Grade Class on “What Have You Lost?” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

October 1st, 2009 · 1 Comment · Author! Author!, Poetry, Student Work

The poet Naomi Shihab Nye once asked a class of students, “What have you lost?” and told them to write. That’s what I like to call: “Hit it and quit it.” Today I asked the 8th grade students (and their teachers) at my school the same question. Here is what they came up with. Hope you are as moved by it as I was.

(Work is anonymous at their request and I typed it up as written.)

(And by the way… Nye’s book of the same name (HarperCollins, 1999), a collection of poems by a number of authors, is lovely. Please check it out.)

best, always,

Ms. Nancy

I lost my Hat, I lost my shoes, I lost
my cellphone, I lost my charger, I lost my
sock, lost my shirt, lost my shirt, lost
my pants, lost my moms keys, I lost my

I lost my friend, I lost my grandma,
I lost my grandpa, I lost my sister,
I lost my brother, I lost 3 cousins.

I lost my mined, I lost my energy,
I lost my strength, I lost time, I lost
my feeling, I lost Hope, I lost pain, I lost
my own two feet.

I lost things and I’ve gained things
I gained strength to do better.
I gained new friends, I gained a new house
Finely in the end everything has a reason.

I have lost………………………………………………………………….
My interest in scooterin
My old house.
My XBOX controller
My shirt
My Hoodies
My billiards game
My GOW2 Match
My friend Frank
My Gears of War 2 game
My Halo 3
I lost my money
I lost interest in writing this list:

I don’t keep track of what I lose lost
wait) I Lost my mind

1) Ipod Touch
2) first phone
3) second phone
4) milkshake

I lost my desire to draw on myself.
I lost my favorite teddy bear.

What have I Lost!! non-fiction
* I have lost Love!
* I have lost pain!
* I have lost family.
* I have lost my mom!
* I have lost my feelings
* I have lost my heart
* I have lost my soul I think! (JK)

I have lost some books, toys, socks, friends, and pencil, and: words.

I have lost socks
I have lost my ipod
I have lost my phones
I have lost friends
I have lost homes
I have lost books
I have lost memories
I have lost pencils
I have lost markers
I have “lost” clothes
I have lost hair
I have lost almost everything
I have lost my old life.

* My Grandpa
* Trust
* Friends
* Home

I’ve lost the meaning
to life.
(but then I found it
in a pillow)

I lost a book so
I’ll pay you back the

I have lost books
I have lost things that
are important to me
I’ve lost nothing important
But I’ve…

I have lost my 1 year old kitten when I was
7 years old & I buried him in our back
yard. Instead of giveing him to the pet

I lost my 1st bike
I lost my 2nd bike
I lost my 3rd bike
I lost my 4th bike
I lost my first phone
I lost my pinkie toe nail
I lost all my baby teeth

I lost my first house key
I lost my second house key
I lost my third house key
I lost my sesame street book
I lost my shoes at the beach
I lost my parts of my arm muscle
I lost my toe nail once
I lost my all my baby teeth

I lost my dog
I lost my games
I lost my money
I lost my bord
I lost my cat
I lost my car

Today in class I lost my sciene
notebook. I took me the end of the
class to find it. It was under (my friend’s)

What I’ve Lost.
I’ve lost my 2 most precious
dogs in my life. They were very
sweet and kind to me. Lena smacked
me on the head with her tail
a lot. Tonka was just the best,
nicest, sweetest do in the world.

What I Have Lost — pincils, pens, a pen, video games,
books, memorys, free time, pictures, animals, a crystal,
presents, homework, clothes and the ability to think of poems

What have you lost?
1. My favorite pair of
2. I’ve lost my temper and I broke
the phone
3. I lost my grandfather that had cancer
4. I’ve lost some of my happiness because
I’m sick.
5. I lost one of my grandmothers 2 days before
I was born.

I Lost
I lost my abillity to see
I lost my Power Ranger
I lost my movies
I lost my video games
I lost my internet
I lost my food
I lost my win to schemes
I lost my Xbox Live

My one and only….
Xbox Live

I lost my money before in my room and it
sucked because I needed the money to buy a game.

I lost my money once
I look for it and I couldn’t
find it.
I looked everywhere.

I have lost $20 in a bet.
I lost my shoe in Fred Meyer.
I lost the TV remote control.
I lost a book in 3rd grade and
still haven’t found it.
I lost my shyness.
I lost my temper.
I forgot my name for
A day.

I lost my money.
I lost my breath.


I lost my phone once.
I lost my dvd player.
The first time I checked out a book I lost it.

I’ve lost my shoes and money.

I lost my mind
I lost my cuzins (rest in peace)
I lost a shirt
I lost a shoes
I lost myself
I lost weight.

I have losed my
earring. I was
very sad.
I have lost my shoe
but I found it.
I have lost my ring and
it was so cute but now
its gone.

I have lost my shoe!
I have lost my ring!
I have lost my earings!
I have lost my book!
I have lost my school bag!
I have lost my macup!
I have lost my mom!
I have lost my I-Pod!
I have lost my sock!
I have lost my necklace!
I have lost my sister!
I have lost my shoe!

I lost my backpake on the MAX.
I lost my shoes in my
I lost my game.

My sanity
My mind (echo echo echo echo)
My heart
Weight 8 lbs lost woo hoo!!
Sence of awareness
My madness

I lost my money
I lost my hiar
I lost my Grandad
I lost nothing else.

What Have I Lost?
I have lost my most loved blanket
that I used to carry around with me
all the time when I was little

I have lost my abuelita, Rest in
I have lost weight.
I lose patience.
I lose control of myself.
I lose my mind.

I’ve lost my shoes befor.
I have lost my 20 bucks.
I have lost my phone befor.

I have lost 10 pounds
and gained them back again.
I have lost an uncle to
I have lost time worrying
about things that don’t matter
I have lost money paying
for stupid mistakes
I have lost an earring that
a student made for me,
but he made me a replacement
and I haven’t lost that!

I lost my wristwatch this
morning. I know I put it on
my wicker stand where I always
put it yesterday. When I went to
put it on today, it was gone!
I spent a lot of time looking for
it and then I had to go to work.
So I put my good watch on and
now it isn’t keeping the correct
time – I’m lost without my

(the end)

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Nan // Oct 2, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Poetry is such a great way to see into people.