I spent a rather pleasant afternoon this weekend rootling through a box of my old school books we heaved down from the loft.
After chortling my way through numerous weird, wonderful and often just plain odd stories and poems, sighing nostalgically over little glimpses back into my childhood when we were asked to write about what we’d done at the weekend, or on holiday, and going extremely gooey over a letter to Father Christmas asking very politely for a blue Grecian Flyer bicycle* which ended with the words “My daddy would like a model train set”, I realised something rather sad.
All through primary and junior school, the books are full of stories, poems and rhymes. Learning to write and handwriting practice involved copying out little four-line rhymes; for each year there’s an excercise book called “Stories” or “News and Story“, and many of the entries are poems on a given subject; even History excerise books have stories in them, where we were tasked with writing a historical event from the point of view of the famous person concerned.
Then I start secondary school.
And in all my English books, there’s not a jot of rhyme.
Not a single poem.
There are occassional stories, but nothing rhymily creative from my own imagination.
I was rather shocked when I realised this. Writing – and in particular, writing poems and rhymes – was obviously something I’d loved at primary school, and something my teachers encouraged – but then when I got to Big School, the rhyming stopped.
Very, very sad.
So to cheer things up after that distressing bombshell, here’s a poem I wrote aged 9 for Hallowe’en, seeing as that time is upon us! In fact it was written on this very day, 29th October – exactly xx** years ago today!
This is the night of Hallowe’en,
When demons and witches can seen,
I’m in my room
I’m all alone
When from downstairs I hear a groan!
A tapping on the window pane,
And the moan, it comes again,
I close my eyes,
I fall asleep,
And the boys got tired doing trick or treat.
*I got the Grecian Flyer. And it was blue. It was the only brand new bike I ever had, and it was ace.
**I’m not telling you! 🙂