Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream"

Found Poems
In Middle School, English teacher Irie De Lilly had her students complete a "found poetry" project in which students created poems from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, pictured above.

Speech About a Speech
In Lower School, student McKenzie H. wrote a beautiful and timely speech in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, shared below. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt words with us, McKenzie!  
Oh, Martin Luther King, Jr., what a wonderful man you were! You cared about your people, and looked for equality everywhere. If you didn’t see the thing you wanted to see, you would fix it. You would help those who could not fight for their own freedom. You would make speeches that inspired all that were with you. You would walk miles and miles to fight for your freedom, and even when things didn’t look good, you kept on going. Oh Martin, how much we miss you. 

“I have a dream,” he would say, “that one day, my four little children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” 

We still have work to do. That dream has not come true yet. It can, but it hasn't. Have we really been caring about our black community? Have we really stopped police brutality? 
NO. We’re supposed to be fixing this. Are we, really? Are we taking the care to ask the people? Are we letting everyone be free? Are we being kind, or are we killing our own? What happened to the peace? What happened to being kind and caring? It's gone. We have to bring it back, like Martin wanted. We have to make sure everyone, and I mean everyone, is created equal.

Martin’s words mean something. We have to do something about this. We aren’t done. We aren’t done here.

To me, Martin’s speech means we have to fight for equality, something we don’t have. To me, Martin’s speech means that we have to keep pushing forward. We might think we have done all we could, but have we? We have to think about what we can do. We can’t be mad at those before us. They're gone. We aren’t. We can’t blame them; we can think about all the things they did wrong and fix them. We can push forward, not look back. We can look back and be taken over by hatred, or we can look forward with hope. 

We must speak out about what is wrong. This is what Martin’s words mean to me. It means we must break the barrier. We must know what is right or wrong and we must fix them. We must prove our point. I'm speaking today not just because I want to, but because I have to. For all those people being treated wrongly. We have to show them we are strong. We have to show them we will fight for what is right. We have to show them they are wrong. We must keep going.

Dear Martin, 
Thank you for showing us all that we must push forward, we must fight for what's right, and we must not, will not, cannot forget you.   

The Oxford Comma

After the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to publish a printed version of the Oxford Comma, the literary team persevered and completed a Google Slides presentation to showcase students’ poetry, essays, short stories and art work.

The team presented the Oxford Comma to the Buckley community via Zoom, sharing poetry, prose, context around artwork, and musical performances. A video of the event is shared below.

Thanks to all the students and faculty members who attended and helped make the unveiling of The Oxford Comma such a success, and congratulations to our literary team for completing a beautiful presentation despite the unexpected circumstances!

COVID-19 Sonnets

English teacher Mitch Kohn assigned sophomore students to write sonnets using COVID vocabulary. Click here to read these "COVID-19 Sonnets."

Poetry Submissions

If you would like to share your poetry with us, please email with the subject line, "Poetry."

List of 2 items.

  • "View from Gilley" by Jem B. '21

    Jem is a current Buckley student. He was awarded a silver medal in the National Scholastic Art Awards for his collection of poetry, including this poem.

    Gilley Field is all that’s left of the canyon 
    now, a close-cropped grass plateau stretching 
    the chasm between a cul de sac of loping hills. 
    On that far side, the exit, the 
    one that doesn’t abut brush, boys gather, 
    savoring the shade, eyes 
    sweeping the empty field faster 
    than they themselves can. Cleats tied tight, 
    they gossip, they joke, they revel in the athleticism 
    of youth, the quickening of their hearts— 
    what they don’t do is look back. Down 
    the hillside, the brush tumbles away and 
    the Valley opens like a lens— 
    and I wonder 
    what these boys would see 
    if they looked past the small canyon before them 
    and into the larger one beyond. Is this aperture 
    just a glimpse back home? Or 
    something greater—a home in the future, a 
    family, a resting place? The 
    world is as large as we want it to be 
    a dark marble in a pocket, or the ebb 
    of coastline, and for these live-in-the-moment boys 
    beside me, it is the span of a soccer field, refracting 
    only the sound of competition in 
    the lazy autumn air. What they see 
    in the Valley is a mystery— 
    time moving forward and yet 
    always remaining at Now 
    All I know is 
    when I look down the Valley 
    I recognize a place I will return to 
    as a grown man—not a home, 
    for home is elsewhere now— 
    but another stop on a journey 
    I haven’t taken yet.
  • Poem by Joan Pitcher

    Joan is a grandparent to Meredith W. ’15 and Teagan W. ’18 and a substitute in the Lower School.

    I miss Buckley.
    I miss the sound of laughter and the noise,
    The yellow buses chugging through the gates, disgorging girls and boys.
    The morning meetings, sharing thoughts and aims.
    The cheery greetings, caring, playing games, sat in a circle on the rug.
    I miss the chime of happy children’s voices,
    Echoing round the canyon’s grassy walls,
    The tramping feet in corridors and halls.
    Shouts and squeals and laughter, waterfalls of sound.
    I miss the play yard and the climbing frame. 
    The way my heart leaps when I hear my name
    And friends come running, smiling, eyes alight, 
    Full of ideas for games we might enjoy together.
    I miss the teachers, educators, friends, 
    Every day showing us how much they care, 
    Happy to see us there and share their knowledge and understanding.
    I miss PE, the coaches with a smile
    Spurring us on to go that extra mile,
    Shouting encouragement and heaping praise to warm our days.
    I miss the music, orchestra, band, choir
    Driven by  teachers, eager to inspire us with the desire to shine.
    Computers, drama  dancing, science,  art
    All play a part, kindling the joy that fills my heart when I am there.
    I miss the fellowship, the atmosphere, 
    The common sense of purpose that we’re here to learn,
    And grow and find our place in this community,
    My school, my family,
    I miss Buckley.

For Our Young Readers

Click here for a reading of William Steig's Doctor De Soto and click here for a reading of Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel

Thank you to parent Jesse Burch for submitting!