It really began with "The Swing." I heard it, I read it, I memorized it, I wrote it, and then I wrote my own poem. I was in love. Truely infatuated with words. Ripple, why that rhymes with pimple-and I was off writing a poem about pimples on that boy's face. Before long though, maybe eighth grade, I found out I Was No Good at rhyming poems, or so the teacher said.
Now, don't let me give teachers a bad rap, I was one for 32 years, but you don't ever tell a child they are no good at something. Especially something they love and cherish beyond all other things. Boys, forget them I had my poetry.
I wrote my first 'good' poem when I was 23. I was living in the attic of my parents home. No one should ever have to live in an attic, but there I was, writing poems, playing my guitar, and working for a department story in the daytime. There was something about living in a musty attic that brought out my muse. That and the constant buzz of the street noise below.
So why begin to write, even if you have written a good poem under these conditions? Because you love it, of course! Every day since, 40 years, (well, okay maybe not every day-just a saying) I write or read a poem. I even wrote a novel, where, of course the main character was also writing poetry within the book. I still love new words, too. I love putting them into my poetry. Like, "Aubade of Love," or "Syncope." Do I rhyme; no. Am I glad I don't; yes. It's my love story and I expect to still be in love 30 years from now. "...Up in the air so blue./ Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing ever a child can do..."
Causes Denise White Supports
MN Public Radio