Monday, November 7

The power of the Internet: finding my old, bad poetry


Never say I love you
If you don't really care
Never talk about feelings
If they aren't really there

Never hold a hand
If you're going to break a heart
Never say you're going to
If you don't plan to start

Never look into my eyes
If all you'll do is lie
Never say hello
If you really mean goodbye

- written by me, age 9

I was a brooding, dramatic kid. Alright, that's a blatant lie. I was a very well-behaved child with a sunny disposition and a relatively uninteresting everyday life. However, I did love to read about the pre-adult Danielle Steelesque passion of other, more interesting girls in books like Sweet Valley High.

I wrote this poem in Mrs. Favila's fourth grade English class. Each student put together a whole collection of original works - my binder was orange, with a cover of artfully placed stickers from my massive sticker collection. I think I used a couple of scratch 'n sniff ones, and maybe I even threw in an oily!

At the time, I hadn't been in love yet (not even the puppy varietal) nor had I really experienced my first true crush. Unless, of course, you count Kirk Cameron. But I sure knew how to turn up the faux drama.

I was particularly proud of this piece. My friends liked it so much, they copied it down and placed it on the outside covers of their own school binders, under the clear plastic. I eventually saw it on the binders of people who weren't even my friends. It was like email forwarding, long before email existed. I was a recognized writer. Sort of.

And now, 20 years later, my poem still exists on the Internet! This site is close to the original, with a couple extra added lines and "author unknown." This site categorizes it under "truth." This site claims some person named "Miranda" is the author!

I can only imagine how different girls copied this from binder to binder, and it continued to get passed along until the existence of the world wide web. It's fascinating to consider just how my pre-teen words were kept alive all these years, isn't it? It's pretty amazing, actually.

But I am going to have to find that Miranda chick and have a few words with her...

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