Rockcliffe Park Public School, Ottawa, Canada - painting by Xheni Konci, grade 6 - June 2008
I wrote a lot of poetry as a kid and still write the occasional poem. I wanted to squeeze this in before the end of Poetry Month - a fond memory of one childhood muse who encouraged my passion for poetry.
I wasn't the teacher's pet. It was obvious Kathleen was the favorite. Even so, my grade 8 home room teacher at Rockcliffe Park Public School encouraged me in one important area. He recognized my love of poetry. Every Thursday afternoon for a term, I was excused from class to go off by myself to the library resource center for a free period of undirected poetry study. I was 12 years-old - a little young for that much freedom - but I took it pretty seriously.
At the end of the term I was expected to produce a report. I presented a turquoise folder with an essay on poetry and definitions of poetic terms like iambic pentameter - along with a collection of my own poems. I don't know how productive the experiment was or how much I learned but that wasn't the point. The lasting value of the experience was that a teacher gave me the latitude to pursue something I loved. He endorsed the importance of poetry and encouraged me to learn and develop my writing.
Here's one of my childhood poems from around that time:
Intertwining branches black
cascade across my window pane.
Suddenly I realize
that the sky is caving in.
The topaz sun
has just for fun
turned into a ruby.
I wonder why
I just sat by
and dreamed as if you knew me.