Childhood Poetry

From a young age I dabbled in various creative tasks. I drew, wrote songs in my head, and eventually started writing things down. I loved the effect of rhyme. Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein were the Greats of my time. Though I, regrettably, don’t draw as much as I used to I still write songs, sing and play, and, of course, write frequently.

Geneseo is only about forty-five minutes from where I live, in West Irondequoit, and I go home most weekends for band practice. Yesterday I dug up a portfolio behind my couch containing a hefty pile of artwork I made between the ages of ten and sixteen. Underneath was a thin folder containing poetry I wrote as a kid, most of them written at the age of eleven/twelve. Reading these rhyme-heavy, basic poems invoked feelings of nostalgia and embarrassment, and I loved every minute of it.

Here’s a poem entitled, “Circles,” which I apparently wrote April 28th, 2005 (I was eleven):


Circles are amazing shapes,

With no beginning and no end.

The shape of an orange or a grape,

Ovals always like to pretend.


As big as the colorful planets,

The size of an analog clock,

As small as a piece of granite,

And a perfect smooth silver rock.


The sun that shines with burning desire,

A freshly picked cherry from a tree,

The sparks that hurl from the fire,

And a golf ball that’s resting on a tree.


A circle can be big or small,

The shape of a china dish,

A circle is the coolest of all,

A circle is an endless wish.


I hope you laughed and cringed as much as I did reading that (especially at the ever-descriptive, “coolest of all”). Perhaps what I love most about finding these relics is their purpose as time-markers. I vaguely remember sitting down and writing this poem, thinking it was profound–maybe it was for an eleven-year-old (I do like “A circle is an endless wish,” as lofty as it is). I did the best with the vocabulary and knowledge I had at the time, and now I can appreciate these early attempts that serve as the foundation for my love of writing.

I want to read any childhood poems/other writing you guys have dug up, if you have any. Don’t let me suffer alone.

6 Replies to “Childhood Poetry”

  1. I don’t have any of my childhood poems here at school, but I’ll definitely take a look at it when I go home. I feel like a lot of my poems from around the 2007 era are pretty angsty (the cusp of middle-to-high school ). But if I were to look at my poems from 2005 or earlier, I would probably have poems similar to yours since I loved Shel Silverstein.

    Thanks for sharing your old work. I feel like people get embarrassed of that stuff but it’s still really cute ( I mean, you were 11!).

  2. Awesome, Ethan…I’ll hunt out some of mine, too…interesting, too, to see how surrealist we’ll allow ourselves to be as children. For Keats, poets were children, necessarily…

  3. This is great! I’ve definitely written my share of terrible kid poetry/stories. Unforunately, I think I’ve lost a chunk of that writing after our ancient family desktop crashed a few years ago–even when I was little, I preferred typing to handwriting. I’ll see if I can dig anything up the next I’m home.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing Ethan! In all honesty I thought your poem was very cute! It’s actually much better than anything I wrote at that age. I love looking back on the writing I did when I was younger as well. I was the kid who thought at age 7 I was the voice of a generation (laughs). But in truth it’s so cool to see how one progresses in time. I also love to look at the different things I used to emphasize in my writing. I know for a time I always wrote about war. Why? I’m not sure. I think it’s because I watched Lord of the Rings too many times and was a wee bit obsessed. My whole point on this is that it’s so great to reminisce over our old poems and stories!

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