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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First Poems

My mother saved some of my first poems. When I was too small to write them down myself, I commanded her to pen my reworkings of nursery rhymes, including this one:

Hickory Dickory Dock
A chicken says Cluck Cluck.
So if you meet a chicken,
Say Cluck Cluck.

Did you like the surprise ending?

The family favorite, one that is still thrown at me mockingly, is:

In the meadow
In the breeze
That is where
I caught my sneeze.

And one of my personal favorites, from the advanced age of nine, begins, "The boat of testimony is coming round the bend / But I cannot see it for eternity will never end." Yes, I lost the cadence there (among other things!).

Well, I'm not alone in having my early verse recorded. Emily Temple at Flavorwire has collected the first known poems of ten poets, including Plath, Proust, and Poe. As well as e. e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And at this point I run out of alliterative (or assonic or whatever the adjective for assonance is) names, so go look for who the others are yourself, at the link.

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