Bold Poets: Opportunity and Identity

Two students from Denver reflect on their lives and dreams.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


“Now I will do nothing but listen

to accrue what I hear into this song

to let sounds contribute toward it.”

-Walt Whitman, from “Song of Myself”

Walt Whitman taught us that the story of a stranger is as much a part of ourselves as our own story. He argued that we better know our own identity when we understand another’s, and for that reason, Whitman listened to others’ songs of themselves, and then in reply, vulnerably offered his own,

“I celebrate myself and sing myself

And what I assume you shall assume

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”

This National Poetry Month, TFA’s students are writing the stories of themselves, which in turn reveals the story of us.

In the video below, Carlos Esparza (age 12) and Gaby Palafox (age 11) from Denver, CO both speak on identity. Carlos describes how he sees himself and what he dreams of, while Gaby reflects on how she came to be who she is. Both speak to opportunity, education, perseverance, and change.

Throughout this month, you’ll hear other Poet Warriors speak on identity, community, place, and family; this is only the second of a four-video series. Share in our celebration of #BoldPoets like Carlos and Gaby and continue to listen by signing up at to get a Poem-A-Week in your inbox from our bold student poets.


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