I was in the fourth grade when I started writing my rhymes, which I thought to be poetry at the time. My mother had written a few poems, that I thought were really good, and I simply wanted to be like her. Or maybe I just wanted her to like me. I’m sure I thought that this could be a way for her and me to have something special together. A shared interest, just the two of us, but that was really it, the elementary reason, and the beginning of my writings. With six kids, special attention was somewhat rare.
I grew up during the Great Depression and much of what I wrote at that time, may not have had tremendous literary content, given my age, and the hard times I grew up in. I remember my early writings to have had a few rhyming lines about this or that, similar in style and verse, as with nursery rhymes…but nothing too special in topic or theme…until I wrote “Dear Sweet Mom” at eighteen years of age. Sometime after writing that poem, I submitted it to a local radio station. To my surprise, it was chosen to be read over the air waves. Sadly however, my Mother never heard the broadcast as she and I did not have telephones at that time, and we lived so far away from each other then.
For me, I felt it was a turning point in my life. I had been writing in verse, and rhyme, and even wrote a few songs in my early years, plus a few that I considered real poems. Over time I realized I had developed somewhat of a habit of writing things down as life presented itself to me. I just wrote as things happened…or after they happened. I wrote a lot about family. My family, yes, but it could be yours too. That’s the thing about poetry…like music, it can make you laugh, it can give you hope, it can make you cry, but also comfort you in the process. They can tell all kinds of stories. Are they my stories, yes…here again, they could be your stories too. Poetry, like music, is universal.