Putting Ourselves “Out There”
I’ve been reflecting on the fact that several commenters now have opened themselves to the public gaze in a very courageous way: you’ve posted your first attempts, or your first attempts in many years, at writing a poem, here for us to see.
In the spirit of reciprocity, I wanted to post my own first poem. I wrote this 22 years ago if my calculations are correct. I still remember the rush of joy, walking through the kitchen, at having that really poetic idea burgeoning in my mind – the surprise, the glad intensity of my need to sit down RIGHT NOW and finish it. To this day, it’s the only one of my poems that I can recite perfectly at a moment’s notice.
I know this isn’t exactly the same thing as you have all done. And to be perfectly honest it’s really my second poem. My first poem, attemped when I was 6 years old, brought with its composition a similar experience, but I was so disappointed in the result that I didn’t save it. (It was something about a pear tree and as I recall the rhymes were “three” and “me.”)
Here’s my ACTUAL first poem.
The NIGHT SKY is a black curtain – distant and dark.
It echoes the frog’s song, the neighbor dog’s bark.
It has tiny peep-holes to let starlight through,
but when morning comes and the day is all new
the curtain rolls back to let sunlight through,
reveal the world sparkling in gems of dew.
So there you have it. What we feel when we write a poem doesn’t necessarily shine brightly for everyone else to see, but the act of writing the poem is one of the most important acts we will ever perform.
Thank you all, so much, for sharing yourselves in this way!