Thursday, February 14, 2008

My First Poem

I wrote this in fifth grade, after I read Jack London's story "To Build a Fire." It's a poetic rewriting of the story, leaving out the crucial gross part. A couple of years later, when I was in seventh grade, my Mom signed me up for a writer's workshop one Saturday morning down at the Women's Community Center in Ithaca (New York). The other poets were, of course, middle-aged women. We sat in a circle and shared our poems. Some of the women read lesbian love poetry, comparing their lovers to the sea and themselves to the shore. I, a little red-headed twelve-year old, read my "To Build a Fire" poem. The women graciously gave me a standing ovation. I was on my way to becoming a poet!

"To Build a Fire"

Cold and dreary, weak and weary
I roam the frozen North,
To and fro the wind does blow
As slowly I trudge forth.
Day and night, I try to light
A warm and blazing fire:
It goes out, in vain I shout,
And then I start to tire.
It’s eighty below and the freezing snow
Is drifting all around me.
Without a sound, I fall to the ground:
Death has finally found me.


John Mutford said...

It's great! If I was a lesbian, I'd give you a standing ovation, too. Oh what the heck. There I'm standing by my computer and my wife thinks I'm nuts.

And I love "of course" as a punchline.

Christopher Tassava said...

That's really good! I'd say it's "killer," in fact, but for the implication. I wouldn't mind seeing more poetry on this site.

Shan said...

Wow! That's a lot better than any poem I could write, and I'm, um...a lot older than twelve.

Bleeet said...


I don't remember any lesbians in "To Build A Fire"...

If there were, and the lesbians were hot lesbians, then the poor sap wouldn't have needed to build a fire, perhaps.

Oh wait, were the lesbians the "gross part"?

I wouldn't think so, but that's just me.

New Poem: "Phrasebook"

My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .