On March 20 and 21, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will be presenting Carnival of the Animals, a concert designed for schools and families with children ages 5 and up. In addition to presenting an exciting program of classical music, including Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals and excerpts from Stravinsky’s The Firebird, the concert will feature poems written by students participating in Hands On Stanzas, a program presented by the Poetry Center of Chicago. These poems will be narrated by CPS students during the concert, accompanying the performance of The Carnival of the Animals.

See below for poems by seventh grade students from Darwin Elementary School. Their poems are focused on many different animals, including the kangaroo and an aquarium filled with fish, and were all inspired by the parallel movements in Saint-Saëns’ piece.

“Hoppy The Kangaroo” by Jacinda F., grade 3

Hoppy the Kangaroo
will hop all over you

Oh how he just hops,
If he cleans, then he mops

You will really
like him, too!

Hoppy the kangaroo
will come clean up for you!

“The Piano Player” by Ana E., grade 3

I imagine that I
am playing the
piano in an
opera house

I am playing
the piano fast
and slow and
the animals are
playing instruments

The monkey is
playing drums fast

The donkey is
playing the tuba
upside down

The bear is
playing a saxophone
so cool

And I am
playing the piano
very well

“Bunny Piano Player” by Mario H., grade 3

A little bunny
in the water palace
playing the piano,
wearing a tuxedo

When the music
stops he trips
because he jumps
so fast to play
the notes

Bunny plays piano
all day long
he was bored
but now he bought
a piano

“Aquarium” by Jazlee S., grade 2

The fish are in
the school following
the teacher

the fish are
dancing fish

the fish are playing
in the water

the fish get sleepy
in the water

the clownfish dances
in the water

and they sleepy fish
sleep in the water

“Aquarium” by Genevieve D., grade 2

In the water
they are dancing

the music stops
and the fish stop dancing

the fish put on the music
but it stops and starts again

all the fish fly
to the music,
dancing

when they fly
they are happy
the fish are
dancing again

“Aquarium” by Kimberly H., grade 2

Dancing fish,
underwater

fish playing,
underwater

and wiggling,
underwater

the fish are
swimming,
under water

wiggling, they
were playing,
under water

“Kangaroo” by Curtis W., grade 2

Imagine the kangaroo
is clumsy.

The kangaroo is
lonely but he
tries to play so
he wont be.

He sneaks upstairs
in another kangaroo’s
house to eat all
the best food.

He gets caught but
says he sorry and
the two kangaroos
become friends.

He’s not lonely or
clumsy anymore.

“Tip Top” by Yazmin Q., grade 2

Tip top hop hop
sneaking away
no talking

Tip top hop hop
sneaking away
to play piano

Tip top hop hop
sneaking away
to bounce a ball