Good morning, all! To start off the week, here is some poetry from a very young, teenage Alison Raymond. The assignment in class (Kasey and Courtney, remember Mrs. Hamilton?) was to pattern a free-verse poem after Walt Whitman’s “There was a Child went Forth.” Walt Whitman’s personal life doesn’t make me a fan, but his writing style wasn’t too shabby. Anyway, the first four lines had to be verbatim from his; the rest is mine. Our class was told that the poem was intended to reflect the writer’s memories/images/influences up until that point in life.
There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object she look’d upon, that object she became,
And that object became a part of her for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.
Curious kittens catching butterflies,
Fingers feeling the cool grass while cloud-gazing,
The tender lullaby with the hand stroking the hair,
Carefree shouts bouncing off pavement,
The Pop! of the baseball as it sails up to the sun,
The scrape of tar-chalk on sun-baked sidewalks,
And big people and big pews,
Friendly greetings weaving a warm cocoon of security,
These things became a part of her.
The groans of pain emitted from workers moving furniture,
The tape that screeches as it seals boxes shut,
And the sad tears that fall during the last glance around the barren house;
Each was saved and treasured in her heart.
Shy glances around rooms full of strangers,
The first bashful conversations,
Then secrets gigglingly whispered among friends,
The sporadic crackle of the campfire piercing the cool night’s silence,
The myriad of voices singing praise skyward,
The melodic jibber of the Hispanic children,
And the dusty, bumpy roads,
The winkling of stars against the spread of black velvet,
And the rhythmic, whispering lap of the waves tickling the shore,
The cool water over their feet as their toes sink cozily in the sand,
All these things became part of her when she closed her eyes and
determined to absorb every magnificent, minute detail.