I just emptied out my old storage shed, and amongst many things, I found my poetry from when I was in high school. Since the actual paper copies weren’t in a condition to keep, I scanned what I could. Assuming everything in our lives going forward is going to be digital, these seems as good a place as any to save them. Also, since this year marks 20 years since I graduated high school, the timing just feels right to visit these again.
Freshman year. I should note, I’m only posting the poems that were published in the yearly creative writing publication of my high school, called The Myriad.
Well, that’s a freshman poem. I don’t know what else to say about that. Let’s move on…
My freshman English class put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet, and I wrote this introduction to it. I mean, I can’t disagree with my point here – that Romeo and Juliet is actually a story about how hate poisons everything. The love that Shakespeare describes is just the catalyst that draws the hate out. Nicely done, me.
I think that’s all that was published from my freshman year. Let’s go on to sophomore year…
This is one of my favorite things I have ever written. It so well captures my feelings of walking the halls in my high school as a sixteen year old – with girls. GIRLS! Oh, the girls. You may see, that becomes a theme here.
Apparently all my life I’ve been re-writing songs with my own lyrics. Threw in a dig at the cold soullessness of corporate America at the end. Not that I had ever been to a Wal-Mart at this point in my life(!) but I guess one doesn’t always need to write what they know.
Geez, this is so frickin’ corny. It was when I discovered this poem that I re-considered my idea to make this blog post altogether, just because this poem is so corny. But you know what? I have a point here about “exuding compassion” actually being a thing. Being able to exude compassion is an invaluable ability. So, okay, not terrible… me.
On to junior year!
Part of me wants to say a lot about this poem. Part of me wants to say nothing at all. When Fiona Apple released Every Single Night in 2012, I thought “she knows this feeling.” I guess you either know this feeling or you don’t. I felt this a lot in my high school years.
Can our love survive the inevitable turbulence that life will bring? That’s a good question. First seeing this again made me think of In Each Other’s Arms by Amy Obenski, but maybe a more fitting song is Love Me Again by John Newman. Maybe this was a sentiment that simply fit the time for me; that we all knew that mistakes, misspoken words and mess ups were inevitable in this world of love that we were exploring. Would we make it?
No, we would not. But we learned on the way. To senior year…
Ugh. This brings back things I’d rather not remember. Remember when I said we learned along the way? Well, here I am… learning. It honestly took me years to learn to navigate the feelings behind the words in this poem.
I had completely forgotten that I had written this. This is as true for me today as it was when I wrote it. I am, honestly, gobsmacked at this poem. Holy moly. If I ever doubt that I can write, I need only look at this poem.
This seems to be inevitable after writing With You? a couple poems up. Yep.
What’s funny is that I’m posting these in the order that The Myriad published them. I don’t know that they are actually chronological. But it feels like it now. I mean, of course I would write this after writing Losing. Reading these poems again, it makes sense that I left high school feeling less confident than I was during high school.
I should point out in this next one that there are a couple of typos. “Ali” was supposed to be “Ah” and the “No” at the beginning of the next line was supposed to be “Not.” I don’t know if I turned this into them handwritten, or if they just made typos.
I can never claim that there was a time in my life that I was not bold. I was pretty fed up with school at the end.
That was another thing to learn, that when it’s over there is no going back. This reminds me of Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri, except from the other person’s point of view.
That’s the last of them. I seriously have no desire to write poetry ever again. I think it’s because I associate that sort of writing with the emotional turmoil of high school. I had never written poetry before my freshman english teacher assigned it to me, and after I got out of high school there wasn’t a structure to continue writing like that. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, dear reader, as I’ve enjoyed looking back on a previous version of myself.