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High School Poetry: Things that should have been burned a long time ago

Last week or so I wrote about going through all my boxes of papers and crap while trying to pack up our house for the move. If you remember, I found some high school poetry of mine. And I promised some people that I would post them.

You get one for starters. If you don't make fun of me too harshly, I may post the others.

I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote this. It's called Family Secrets, but as far as I can remember my family never had a secret that would cause me to write these words down. I do remember writing it, though. The Olivetti was on a real school desk (the old wooden kind with the names scratched into the dark wood - I don't remember where we got it from), and the desk was right in front of my bedroom window, which looked out into the front yard. It was snowing and the Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing was on the radio, which was most likely tuned to WNEW 102.7. The song and the band were fairly new, which would place the writing of this poem in winter, 1978, making me 16 years old.

What once escaped you
Now is tangled inside
You found the bones
We all tried to hide
A braided rug
of secrets and shame
how did it find you?
who told it your name?
you know there's danger
in being weak
but you can't be accused
if you do not speak
you feign worry and sadness
and squeeze out some tears
while ballads play softly
in only your ears
don't ignore it
it won't run away
like the rain it comes back
another day
if you knew all this time
you would still be a fool
enforcing your own
dark golden rule
pretend there's no rage
pretend you don't care
prove your ignorance
of the whole affair
it's not your guilt
to carry around
and it's not your troubles
that you found
let's put all those burdens
where they belong
but whose shoulders
could be that strong?
he sits far away
while we all feel his guilt
peering over
the wall that he built
when the rug is unravelled
we'll all get a string
to choke ourselves with
to strangle this thing


This was so horrible to relive.


Heh, can match you trite for trite :)

Here's one I found years later in an old notebook.

Dawn is rushing toward it's climax,
blowing orange among the leaves.
Chances, floating with the wind-song,
challenge those who would be free.

From the sunrise we come laughing;
to the end we all are drawn.
Life's enchantments flash unending
in the silent summer dawn.


they don't give a damn, bout no trumpet playin band.

If it makes you feel better I have found the same kind of poetry (WITH NAMES) that I have no clue what the crap I was writing about. However, I must say yours was/is more eloquent.

Ah, the rhyming couplet, friend of many a high school poet.

You are braver than me. The only way my teenage poetry is getting published is if someone hates me enough to track it down.

I like it Michele. It's full of angst and mystery, its theme is more universal than not, and the allegory "thread" is chilling. More?


IMO you underestimate yourself.

I consider myself a pretty good judge of poetry. This actually strikes me as pretty good for a 16-year-old, despite the rather simple rhyming couplets. It's abstract, and yet you get the sense of piece. I daresay it's better than anything I produced at that age.

What's really bad is when youngsters cut loose in free verse...it just seems to inspire the most god-awful dreck. Kids should be banned from writing in free verse until they've demonstrated that they can write poetry that rhymes.

Correction: that should be "you get the sense of THE piece."