TATL Rough Draft
Last updated at 5:28 pm UTC on 16 January 2006
The earliest I remember writing poetry was in the sixth grade; actually I donít really remember frank at all, I just happened to come across an old journal of mine one day which norman had stolen, some poems dating back to my sixth grade year were in it. I think that I started writing poetry to help me deal with my own insecurities. In the sixth grade although I was fairly popular I was very insecure. My Grandmother whom I had loved very much and was quite close to had passed away the year before. To make matters worse I was the one who found her, she was asleep on the sofa bed in the front room of our house one morning before school. I tried to wake her up that morning, but nothing seemed to work. My mother told me to let her sleep. I never imagined that I would not see her again until her funeral, but her funeral was the only time I saw her after that dreadful morning. I remember seeing my father cry at her funeral, which was the first time I ever remember seeing him cry. I used to think that it was in some way my fault that my grandmother was no longer with us, I guess I thought that if I had been more persistent at waking her up that morning that she would have woken up and she would still be with us.
I had a very difficult time dealing with my loss. I think that a loss of this magnitude at such a young and difficult age was a large part of why I found poetry to be such a comfort, especially when I was having a difficult time dealing with life in general. I remember wearing a pair of pants very often that I had gotten on one of our shopping trips with her. I suppose I just needed some way to keep her with me, I just wasnít ready to let her go yet. To this day I still wear the gold nugget charm she had given me shortly before she passed away, a gift from a cruise she took shortly before, where she went to Hawaii and Alaska. I was not allowed to wear it though until I was in high school. My necklace sat in the safe until my mother thought that I was old enough to take care of it properly. That charm is my most treasured piece of jewelry to this day, not because it is expensive or pretty, just because it was the last gift she ever gave me. All the Urich girls got the same charm and our mothers got earrings that matched our necklaces. I am the only one who wears my charm all of the time, I am not really sure why I wear mine almost everyday while the others wear it only on occasion. I suppose that I still donít want to let go of her and that I still need some way to keep her with me.
Middle school was when I first started to share my poetry with others. When I was in the seventh grade I gave my Mother a card I had made her for Motherís day, inside the card was a poem I had written in class as an assignment. It was a poem that told how I felt about my mother, how much I appreciated and admired her. My Mother sent that poem in to a poetry contest without telling me, she didnít want to tell me about the contest for fear that I would be discouraged if they didnít like my poem. I only knew about the contest when one day in the mail I got a certificate on gold colored paper congratulating me on my poem being published. I was so excited. I remember thinking that some day I would be a great poet like Emily Dickenson. I continued to write poetry throughout middle school. I found middle school to be even more difficult on me than the sixth grade. I also began to write my own songs while I was in middle school, I would sing them to myself as I walked to and from school each day. I enjoyed singing very much. This was something I discovered while I was in the sixth grade. I even joined the school choir at the middle school I attended. My music is something I have never shared with anyone.
High school was when I finally began to accept myself as I was. I still continued to write poetry, especially when something in my life was bothering me. I still felt like I had little control over life, but I realized that I was responsible for myself none the less. I found my own special place while I was in high school. I would sit out on the dock behind our house. It was a very peaceful place, a place that I still return to sometimes when I just need to get away and think. In my junior year of high school I shared more of my poetry than ever before. Our English project that year was to write several poems of our own and to pick out several poems that spoke to us and put them together in a book. We also had to research the poets whose works we decided to put into our books. I decided to dedicate my book to my Mother and gave the book to her for Motherís day. The front cover of the book had scenic pictures from our vacation to North Carolina as well as pictures of my sister, some friends of ours, and myself pasted onto a piece of yellow construction paper. The cover was then laminated as well as another sheet of yellow construction paper for the back cover and the book was later bound together. I was very proud of the poetry I had put into the book, and therefore I was very flattered when my teacher, who loves poetry, asked if I would allow her to have a copy of one of the poems I had written for the book. That truly was a great compliment, one that has stayed with me always reminding me of a talent I once had.
College was when I finally got to experience the kind of freedom one only dreams about when in high school. I didnít feel the same stresses and pressures that I had felt growing up. I was now experiencing the pressures that were placed on me by others and more importantly by myself. I have always kept very busy with school and often times work, although I always put my education before my job. My studies are often very demanding of my time and drain me of all energy, thus leaving me little time for myself and my poetry. From time to time I have continued to write poetry. I wrote several poems for my boyfriend, and last year for his birthday I made a book for him with several emails that we had written to each other and the poems which I had written for him. He said that it was the nicest, sweetest gift he had ever received and that he will treasure it always.
I think that for me writing poetry became a way to express all of my emotions, especially those that I didnít feel I could talk about. Poetry became my way of escaping the reality of my day to day life. I think that my poetry helped to keep me grounded when inside I often felt out of control. My poetry was something that I alone had control over. It was my way of turning all the things in my life that I thought were horrible into something beautiful, into something that I thought I alone could truly understand. I didnít think that anyone else would ever understand what I was writing about and for that reason it took a long time to be able to share my poetry with others. I feared that no one would understand and that my work would be criticized and at the time I didnít see the difference between criticizing my work and criticizing me.