Poetry is … something of a difficult topic for me. I have no faith in my poetry. I don’t write it any more, or at least I don’t of my own free will, which is not to say I don’t read poetry. I’m just inherently terrible at writing it.
And yet, something urged me to take a quick look through some of the older files on this computer … I say that, but of course, I mean files that have been transferred from computer to computer, account to account. Either way, The file labelled ‘My Poetry’ became rather difficult to avoid looking at. There are only about six or seven files in there, and every file contains a poem I wrote when I was, roughly, twelve years old.
They’re ultimately silly little things, albeit very morbid, which I find startling. I’m not denying that my work is dark; but the fact remains that I’m nineteen, and morbid, disturbing things are far more accessible to me now than they were when I was twelve. Was it bereavement, I briefly wonder, and I know that this was the case with one poem in particular. One, the one I consider the best of all the poems in that folder (though they’re all terrible), was brought about by nothing in particular, just the fact that I tended to speak with people much older than myself at that age. It’s something of a juvenile attempt at writing about more adult issues.
Several things are immediately apparent. I loved ellipses wildly when I was twelve, more so than I do now. Most of the poems are overly wordy in a way that does detract from their overall quality, but I am an overly wordy person; I am someone who complicates simple matters. One or two have a genuine emotion behind them that is very, very difficult to remember now, but I actually do remember writing the poems themselves.
Therefore, in a way, looking through my old work, I’ve perhaps picked up on something new about poetry, that in those days, it felt like a much purer way in which to vent my emotions on the page. My writing doesn’t show any of this, which is a topic I will eventually come to, instead displaying some convoluted politics that only someone just entering high school would really understand … considering I had no grasp on politics back then, anyway, but nurtured the philosophy I had heard plenty of times over; ‘the government is bad.’ A pointless conclusion, really.
And yes, every line smacks of not so much an overly emotional young girl (perhaps a few years before I should have been feeling this), but is highly pretentious, melodramatic and theatrical in a way that would make it unbearable to read to most. It has the imprint of a pre-teen who desperately wanted to be edgy, most likely had self-diagnosed depression or some other disorder that she – that I – never really had. Not so much attention seeking (I wanted to disappear, but maybe that’s just as bad) as dying to stand out from the crowd. Why else did I dye my hair red (2005; you hear that, Cheryl Cole? I did it first), or black, and cut it short, and wore swathes of liquid eye liner to school, and painted my nails black, and wore black sweatbands with red dragons on them? I was the kid in the oversized ‘System of a Down’ t-shirt on non-uniform days, too cheap to afford real Converse. I suppose, really, this is just the type of high-schooler to write morbid poetry; I look back and I seem like an obscene stereotype, seeping so ostensibly into popular culture that I find it difficult to believe that once I was mocked for dressing like this. I wanted to stand out, not to be noticed, but to distance myself from other people my age, and writing ‘depressing’ poetry (it was called that, once, when I used to show it to people) seemed to be more of a side effect, something I was conscious of doing without knowing how contrived it was at the time.
I can’t bring myself to hate it; it’s not often I do or say this, there is plenty of my work that I hate, but in this case, I feel that to hate it so vehemently would be to hate what I was feeling at the time, and even though whatever I was feeling wasn’t pleasant, it isn’t something I want to deny. I don’t consider myself to have suffered, not really, in spite of that fact that I did, and still do, write about suffering. The only time I feel justified in writing something so emotional was a poem I won’t title and I won’t show; a sensitive time in my life that I don’t need to bore anyone with.
In short, you won’t see any poetry here (hell, I’ve only shared, what? One second-rate short story?), which is maybe something I should have cleared up a lot sooner. Most of the work is stuff that, I feel, is too personal to publish now. I’m not satisfied with the quality, no, but I don’t see the point in publicly bringing up feelings that are best laid to rest.
I won’t write any new poetry, either. I don’t feel as though I care enough to be able to do it, now.