(I have mentioned high school poetry before.  Namely, the fact that I stopped writing it in high school…)

The subject of high school poetry, these days, has become rather synonymous with bad.  It seems that raw openness, and youthful optimism and/or angst (take your pick) are somehow the harbingers of cheesiness.

Well, today, I happened to find my old high school poetry.  And, yes, there is a fair bit of badness, a large amount of idealism (a sin of which I am still guilty), and some issues-ridden pandering.  True.  But, it turns out, there is also a fair bit of poetry.  And some humour.

Like this poem:

The wandering brook

The gurgling stream

Are like the pages of a storybook

The child screamed

And fell in the brook

And that was the end,

Of the storybook.

Anyways… What I was really struck with, in fact, was not my amazing poetry, but my analysis.  Or the bit I wrote about why I liked poetry.  It actually made me think today.  And, so, I share it with you:

I like poetry because it gives me the freedom to express what I am thinking, especially when writing free-verse.  In the words of Robert Frost, “Writing free-verse is like playing tennis with the net down.”  Writing poetry is easy because there are no grammatical rules.  It is easy to use made-up words, sentence fragments, and to jump from one thought to the next.

I think poetry is all about interpretation.  The author of the poem can write it to mean something personal to them, but it can be interpreted by others in a completely different (but no less relevant) way…

Since poetry is so open to interpretation it can be anything you want it to be.  There is no right and wrong with poetry reading and interpretation.  Every different person finds different meaning in every poem.

Not bad for a tenth-grader.  I also read my teacher’s comments.  It turns out he encouraged me to take creative writing classes.  And I didn’t.  Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

So, in honor of my (fifteen?) year-old self, I am going to start writing poetry again.  And reading it, too.

(Hence, therefore, if you have any favorite poems, or poets to share – please do!)