Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Juvenalia Intacta

My mom sent me two packages of various items she'd kept for me over the years. In one of the packages was my complete juvenalia... not just the poems, but the short stories. I had photocopies of some of the poems, but I thought the juvenalia was probably lost in a basement flood (or basement fire, or something of that ilk).

Until I went to college, I would type in my age next to my name because I thought it was important. I thought that I was probably going to become so famous that my juvenalia would be in big, big demand. While it's fair to say there are some items that are thoughtful and well-developed for my various ages, the collection will probably be more of interest to my daughter when she's a bit older and writing stories of her own. Do I assume too much? I don't think so.

Addendum for Nonny:

I'm looking through the juvenalia for a story or poem to post. Can't. Do. It. I feel protective of my younger self. There are many cliches, exclamation points, urgent appeals to vampires (i.e. "night angels")... you know, the usual stuff. I was trying so hard to be serious and profound. I'm not saying that in a disparaging tone of voice: I really wanted to be serious and profound. Sometimes I tried to be funny, but it was forced humor. If I am going to be honest with myself (and by extension, everyone else), one of my overarching reasons for wanting to write was so that I could become famous and successful, and thereby show everybody that I was extraordinary after all.

Okay. One poem. I was twelve years old, heading for my thirteenth birthday. The year: 1984. The setting: Seventh grade English class. I've forgotten the specific creative writing journal assignment. It was one of the few times in which I was oblivious to any agenda:

River Rapids

River rapids
Flowing, crashing, thundering, breaking.
The little boat tosses and rocks with the waves.
Over and over again,
Flowing, crashing, thundering, breaking.
The river is harsh and loud,
but its continuing music is a lullaby.
Slowly, slowly, I drift off to sleep.
Drifting slowly and smoothly, the little boat comes to a stop.
The movements in the waves put me to sleep.
Now silence wakes me up.
My little boat is floating in a stream.
Sunlight breaks on the water, causing it to glisten with gold.
Green mossy banks and giant oaks surround me right and left.
The rapids are gone, I've finally stopped.
I'm safe now, able to stand up.
Yet, I felt safer when my life was in danger.

6 comments:

Lady K said...

How very COOL! I'm glad it wasn't lost. My mom kept all that stuff for me, too, in an old apple box. I still have it on a shelf in my closet. Now I want to go through it!

Nonny said...

You should post some stuff out of it. You know, for shits and giggles.

All my childhood stuff was lost in a basement flood. Including all our childhood photos. I do not exist any longer before 1990.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Lady K: I want you to go through it, too. I wish I could sit on your floor and look through your stack of old stuff while you looked through mine. Of course, the embarrassment factor might be high... so it goes!

Nonny: I'll see what I can do. Some of it is hard to read-- my eyes glaze over when I see the exclamation points and such. I'm sorry you lost your childhood things in a basement flood. It gives one a slightly personal perspective on the destruction of the great Library of Alexandria.

I'm not being very cheery, am I!

Nonny said...

How precious. In a very serious and profound way :)

Thanks for trusting me enough to share that.

I didn't write at all back then. But still wanted to be famous. I didn't want to act or sing either. I'm not quite sure how I thought I'd become famous. Just that it would happen eventually. Now I don't want to be famous. I think it would he horrid. I do want the wealth that comes with fame though.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Nonny: Thank you for not scoffing at the poetry of my 12 year old self! I thought about showing you one of my vampire poems, but there are some things that are just too cringeworthy.My vampire poetry is one of them. I was even writing it in college, albeit more along the lines of "he is not a vampire."

Boy-o. What is it with girls and vampires?! I guess Buffy understands.

After seeing a couple of snippets of "Punk'd" via YouTube, I feel blessed that I have never had to endure the drawbacks of celebrity. I have never understood what was so funny about believing something believeable (i.e. David Boreanaz's wife pretending to eat a piece of glass in her salad, and Boreanaz getting really pissed off about it. Now, it would be funny if someone convinced a group of people that the aliens were coming, and the only way to scare them off was to jump up and down on one leg, flapping arms like wings, and squawking "Artichokes and underwear!"

I would blog TWO vampire poems for the chance to see that.

Lone Star Ma said...

I remember some of your young teen juvenalia, some of it word for word. And it was good. I like the one with the curlews. I don't think I read any of the vampire ones. The ones I remember were of the hopefully yearning sort and very spiritual. You were a very talented teen poet.