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high school poetry

I’ve had poetry on the brain lately.

I went through a big poetry-writing phase in elementary school, back when I wanted to do everything Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon did, and then didn’t write any more until we had a poetry unit in AP English and had to write 10 poems.

I wrote the poems; I got a good grade, and they were really, really bad and I knew it. I am not good at writing poetry. But I have a lot of really great memories of that poetry unit. For example, when my friend Libby wrote a poem that began with the line, “How awful to be a banana these days.” And when someone stood up and read the lyrics to a song by Skee-Lo and passed it off as a poem. And several other poems which I cannot share here.

When I taught high school, I had students who were good at writing poetry. Exceptional, really. And sometimes it was surprising who was amazing at it. I still remember when the blonde, bubbly cheerleader who I thought had a perfect life wrote a poem of such depth and anguish that it made me cry. I always knew a lot of my students were smarter than I was, but the poetry unit really, really floored me.

Here’s my problem: I need to write a poem for the book I’m working on now. Well, I need my main character to write a poem, but obviously she cannot do it without my help. So I’m in big trouble. Every time I try to write the poem I start giggling. Because I’m so darn bad at it. And it’s supposed to be romantic! Not funny!

So: if any of my former high school students are out there, and you would like to ghostwrite my poetry, call me! Or else I’m going to have to contact Skee-Lo and see if he has any more lyrics he hasn’t used yet…

+ comments (3)
  • Stacey
    December 1, 2009

    Oh Ally! I bet you’re better at it than you think! If you need some help you know that is what writer’s groups are for!

    Love reading your stuff every Tuesday!

    Um and, you’re still killing me smalls!

  • becca
    December 1, 2009

    Love. I neeeeeeed help with some stuff, too. Let’s collaborate on poetry. We could come up with something really funny – really giggle-inducing, I’m sure. Romantic? I make no guarantees.

  • Tasha
    December 2, 2009

    Not a student and not a poet, but would give you my opinion and make suggestions if the giggling subsided long enough to have something remotely poetic emerge.

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