#ArizonaHaiku: Alhambra Traditional School Students Share Their State-Inspired Poetry

By Mariana Dale, Tom Maxedon
Published: Friday, March 1, 2019 - 10:35am

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Bethany Valdivia Alhambra Traditional School
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
"I think with poetry...It’s something I think allows for more artistic and creative ability and to see that there’s really no limit to the way that you can express yourself," Ms. Valdivia said.

Some of the youngest poets to send KJZZ an #ArizonaHaiku were students in Bethany Valdivia’s classes at Alhambra Traditional School in Phoenix.

Valdivia teaches eighth-grade English language arts. Her students conduct socratic seminars, craft thesis statements, analyze literature and learn about poetry.  

"I think with poetry...It’s something I think allows for more artistic and creative ability and to see that there’s really no limit to the way that you can express yourself,"  Valdivia said.

While many students depicted the majesty of Arizona skies or wildflowers,  Seth Osorio aimed for funny.

Desert sky, no sea,
Can you turn on the AC?
We are burning up.

With poetry ... it's something that I think allows for more artistic creative ability and to see that there’s really no limit to the way that you can to express yourself."
— Bethany Valdivia, Alhambra Traditional School

It was inspired by the summer his family’s air conditioning broke down and they had to stay at a hotel until it was fixed. 

A real-life experience also was at the heart of Cecilly Parsons’ poem. 

“I was thinking about one of my favorite memories with my dad,” Parsons said. “It was a winter morning … He woke us up early to watch the sunrise. He gave us a cup of hot chocolate and we watched the sunrise while we were wrapped in blankets. It was a really cozy memory.”

As night turns to day
The new sun shines on my face
A new day has come!

“I generally like haikus because you can put  a lot of feeling into a few syllables, which I think is kind of like amazing,” Parsons said. “When it all comes to together it means something beautiful.”

This poem is by Sofia Muñoz.

In this hot desert
I live; my only home town
I'll never forget

I asked her what she liked about living in Arizona.

“I like that even though it’s hot here there’s not much like weather that will destroy my home versus everywhere else,” Muñoz said. 

More Student Poems

She was actually the second student to bring up natural disasters, and I laughed at first, but Muñoz says says the idea of losing her home is scary.

“In the beginning my family never had money.  So they only bought like a small room for their family of eight. And my grandpa just re-built it more and more as he had more material.”

Muñoz said her roots are firmly planted here in Arizona.

“I think I’d stay here my whole life because I’m happy where I am right now.”

Thanks to all the students at Alhambra Traditional School who submitted their poems.

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