Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, September 5, 2019


Several years ago, I had an idea for a novel-in-verse inspired by the experiences and dreams of some of my students. I wrote a bunch of poems, but I had no idea how to weave them together into a novel.  (It’s so much harder than it looks!)  I saved them in a file and almost forgot about them. Today I'm sharing a poem from the collection.  The title comes from my belief that we should all be dreamers!  (Please forgive white background behind some of the words in the poem.) 


In El Salvador,
my parents
worked and saved
to come to the U.S.
Thieves stole
their money,
they walked
nearly 2,000 miles
on blistered feet
carrying baby me
and a backpack
full of dreams.

I carry
a backpack
full of books.
My dream:
first in my family
to go to college.
Will I be
a doctor,

It’s up to me!

Papi says
the best thing
about dreams is
no one
can take them

-Linda Kulp Trout

Last year, I discovered a beautiful picture book titled DREAMERS by Yuri Morales.  Yay!

After reading this description on Amazon, I had to have it.

Dreamers is a celebration of what migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It's a story about family. And it's a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless.

Both the text and the illustrations are gorgeous. I wish I had DREAMERS when I was teaching.  Yuri's story is similar to the ones I heard my students tell. This book gives their stories a voice.

Here's a video I think you will enjoy.

A special thank you to Sylvia and Janet for hosting this week's Poetry Friday at Poetry for Children.


  1. Your poem is so poignant- so full of hope. I'm looking forward to reading Dreamers.

  2. Excellent job Linda! I like how the journeys are presented here: one for migration, one for school.

  3. I love the picture book, Dreamers, and your poem connects to it, Linda. It must have been a poignant experience to hear your students' stories and hard to imagine what it must be like to take that journey. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Oh, beautiful and thoughtful! I love how the backpack goes from metaphorical to literal. Yes, novels in verse are so hard. I have one tucked away as well. Someday...?

  5. I hope you pick up your idea for a novel in verse again Linda, your poem is captivating and timely. "Dreamers" is lovely thanks for sharing it and the video too!

  6. Lovely poem, Linda. Just today I met a young student who had already read all the books in our library on El Salvador. I suspect she is filled with dreams. I love that I get to help her make them real. xo

  7. Dreamers sounds like an important book. Your poem connects the dreams that tie the generations together.

  8. Your poem is wonderful, Linda. You move so seamlessly from the dreams of the parents to those of the child, all the while emphasizing the importance of dreaming. A perfect segue way into Yuri Morales's picture book. I do hope you'll revisit your collection.

  9. Hi, Linda, thanks for joining the Poetry Friday fray and sharing this lovely dream. Personally, I would like to see that novel in verse! Hope you'll think about it!

  10. Your poem is beautiful in how it gives expression to the voices you listened so carefully to from your students. Thank you for sharing the book, too.