Gary Soto Poems

Gary Soto is an American poet who has authored thirteen poetry collections. His most famous poem, ‘Oranges,’ is read by students around the world. His New and Selected Poems was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Award and the National Book Award. His work has been translated into many different languages. 

Teaching English from an Old Composition Book

by Gary Soto

Gary Soto’s ‘Teaching English from an Old Composition Book’ is about a teacher instructing some Mexican-American immigrant students in a night school. Soto portrays their harsh living conditions and their struggle to cope in a new culture.

My chalk is no longer than a chip of fingernail,

Chip by which I must explain this Monday

Night the verbs “to get;” “to wear,” “to cut.”

What now?

by Gary Soto

‘What Now?’ by Gary Soto is a contemporary poem that speaks to the universal experience of aging and learning.

This poem is a good representation of Gary Soto's poetry. It showcases his ability to evoke nostalgia, reflect on personal experiences, and explore themes of growth, change, and the passage of time. The poem captures Soto's signature style of combining vivid imagery with introspective reflection, making it a fitting example of his body of work.

Where did the shooting stars go?

They flit across my childhood sky

vAnd by my teens I no longer looked upward—

My face instead peered through the windshield

Field Poem

by Gary Soto

‘Field Poem’ by Gary Soto is a short and powerful poem that describes a speaker’s experience at the end of a workday. The poet uses imagery to depict leaving a cotton field and climbing on a bus.


by Gary Soto

‘Oranges’ by Gary Soto is a charming narrative poem. It tells a story about a young boy on his first date.

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