top of page

Lines Like Espada


Poet Martín Espada, in his "Advice to Young Poets," writes:





                         Never pretend

                         to be a unicorn

                         by sticking a plunger on your head.




Our 2019 AP Literature class analyzed this question, writing our own three-four line poems that mirror Espada's style and message. Concise and provoking, what follows is our take on personal authenticity and introspection— lines like Espada.



Acknowledge that apples

in winter, were once ripe

in the wrong season


Eleni Papiacovou


Don't trace beauty

and call it creation.


Jessie Castagna


dont try to keep gluing back


what has already been broken

over and over


Julianna Licona


Don’t try to be a carpet

by letting people

walk all over you.


Nick Arthur


Don't preach

Unless the words you speak

Are more beautiful than the 

silence they break


Aleena Nasser


Never pretend

to be an angel

by walking on a tightrope over the fire


Emma Graff


Never dissolve

your mystery to

doors and knobs


Lauren Gotard









Never sell

Your heart on the black market 

Looking for love  


Emily Murphy


don't jump

into a barrel just to

get rolled


Lauren Redelman


don't pretend

to be a bird by 

flapping your arms


Adil Khan


mirrors provide the clarity we 

think we want, while puddles

reveal the perspective we really



Subhana Zafar


Don't be a chameleon

Always changing your colors.

So much that you don't know 

who you really are.


Nick King


Never try

To read a book

without opening the cover


Brianna Hansen


Stop Trying

To draw a snowflake

By looking at the ones outside


Eliot Yoon















Never pretend to be Jesus

Just because you put your foot 

on water. 


Chris Borges


Advice to Politicians


never pretend 

to be a patriot

by simply wearing an American flag lapel.


Riley Turner


Never forget to pull the string of your parachute,

because you were too busy saying,

You only live once!


Annelise Campo


Advice to a So-Called Best Friend


Never pretend 

to always be listening

when your head is in the clouds.


Kayla Sakayan


You can't masquerade as Mother Nature

without dancing

on a few ants.


Brady Mondry


Don't try to be a ghost

by putting a white sheet over your head


Stephen Verderame

bottom of page