Personal Story

Impact Feature Issue on Fostering Success in School and Beyond for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Supporting the Dream of Becoming a Poet

My name is Wes Goodson. I am a junior at Madison Special Education School in Nashville, Tennessee. School has been very challenging for me because I have dyslexia and other learning disabilities. I do love learning, and my favorite classes are reading and writing. I really enjoy the classics, and I have listened to the audio recordings of many classic stories and novels. Poetry is my greatest interest, and I have written dozens of poems using a digital recorder and a teacher as a scribe. My poem “The Candle” has been published in a collection of poetry called “Breaking Ground.” I am inspired by the writing of Edgar Allen Poe, and I think he is one of the greatest writers of all time.

I have always been interested in reading and writing, but it has always been very difficult for me. During the last two years at my school, I have been involved in a reading program called SRA Corrective Reading. In this reading program, I have learned to recognize words by learning the skill of decoding them. The first section of SRA is all about decoding, and I have learned the skill of breaking unfamiliar words down into parts and sounds. This makes words easier to work with, and it has made my vocabulary get much bigger and better. In the fall of 2004, I tested out of the decoding program, and I am now working in the SRA comprehension program. This takes the decoding skills a step further, because now I have to comprehend short passages, and answer questions about what I have read. In SRA comprehension we do really fun skill-building drills like deductions and analogies. Since I have been involved in SRA corrective reading, I have learned to enjoy reading and writing even more. I am now getting the skills I need to read and write independently. This is something I have not been able to do in the past, and I look forward to being able to put my new skills to use.

All in all, SRA corrective reading has helped me to become a better reader and a better writer. Since becoming a writer is a dream that I have, I hope that I will be able to continue to improve my skills. Here is a copy of my best poem. It is called “The Candle,” and I believe it shows how far I have come.

The Candle

by Wes Goodson

Love is as a living candle

that lights one’s very soul.

The candle can never be blown out

but as hatred takes its toll,

the candle runs the risk of falling

into the darker side of the soul.


The hateful half of the human soul,

is like a horrid, pitch black hole.

Where demons dwell

and wait to take control

of the lovely light within your soul.


But there is luck without luck

in the candle of your soul.

For it will never be extinguished

but it may turn cold.


For if it fall among the halls

of the demons from within,

they will keep it for themselves

and let the heat grow dim.


For within the hole inside your soul

it is chilling, icy cold.

And this dark ice will never be nice

to a light so bright and warm.

For the ice does not wish to melt

and the darkness will hold its own.


For the lovely light of love

with beauty bright and warm

will not keep its brilliant light

in a realm so miserable and glum.


It will not go out, of this I am sure.

But the brilliant light will suffer

much worse askewer.


For the lovely light of beauty true

shall suffer in ways its owner never knew.

For the once white, hot light of love

is now a bonfire in a tub.

Flaring dark and evil flames

and hating the world above.


So keep hate far from your soul

and your candle will not fall to the demon’s goal.

So love your life and live it with love,

and keep your candle warm and snug.