Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Poet's Reflections

I had a disturbing experience during my last trip "home." Months before I had thought to myself, "I should try to publish a book of my poetry." It isn't hard these days; even if you cannot find a publisher to work with you, there are countless venues for self-publishing. I cradled the idea close to me and really found solace in it. I told myself that when I visited home, I would pick up my old black and white composition notebook with "April's Poetry" scrawled on the front, and I would choose the best works of my teen and early adult years. Then I could take those back with me, polish them up, and include them with my current stuff.

That is not exactly what happened.

I went home, dug out my notebook and spent an evening reading through my life from ages 15 till about 20. You could see my stages of development scribbled across the book through its contents:
  • Love poems to God
  • Struggling with God
  • Love poems to a boyfriend
  • Hate poems to an ex-boyfriend
These are just some examples of the themes I took on at various periods. You know, where my inspiration lied.

I realized that these poems were crummy. I knew that many were crummy but I remembered some of them as being quite good. Sure, I read a few aloud to my sister and we laughed together at the humor laced throughout, but in the end, there was not a single one that I would consider worthy of publication.

Conversely, though I am not happy with many of my poems today, there are also many that I am proud of and would want to publish.

I guess I learned that I have grown as a writer, which is a good thing. I am also glad that I had a medium (such as poetry) to get through the tough adolescent times. It is strange, though, to face the reality that you are a completely different person than you were, even in your writing!

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