When I was eight years old, I wrote my first poem. I remember the moment the words came to me. I was lying in bed at night, the lines rattling through my brain, startling sleep away. I turned on my pencil-shaped bedside lamp, grabbed my pink diary and huddled up underneath the little roses on my wallpaper to scribble the words down before they were lost to me forever. I re-read them over and over, letting them seep into my mind as I drifted off to sleep, so full of mystery and fascination at this new craft that had opened up to me.
The next day, I showed the poem to my mother. It was a love poem, and the only thing she said was, “Why is this written to a woman?”
I didn’t know. (more…)