Friday, October 9, 2009
Last night I left one of my poems at moments of perfect clarity .
Julochka said of the quilt she had pictured that it had been made from clothing her children had once worn. She always thought of them when she looked at it. I related to that and thought of the poem.
I thought today that I would tell you a bit about the way this little ditty came to be.
I was in my first writing class and I’d joined the class late. Our teacher liked to knit while we read or discussed things.
On this day we were to write a limerick. I’ve always loved writing limericks and this one popped into my head nearly whole, as my poems often do.
There once was a teacher of note
Who listened more than she wrote
To words of great wit as she sat and knit
Words and letters entangled became.
One day she spied a sweater
And remembered every letter
Of the words between the stitches she had knit
To the words she gave her name
To who belongs the fame?
To the sweater, or the teacher, or the wit?
(c) Marilynne Smith
There is an odd ending to my writing this limerick. When I wrote it, I didn't realize there is an accusation here. After all, I was only writing a silly little poem. I was proud of it and told my teacher that since she was the inspiration for the poem, I was giving it to her.
Ah, unintended accusations. My teacher never returned to the class. I was only encapsulating a thought as a poem. I meant nothing. I did not intend to accuse her.
I've always felt I would have liked to apologize to her. But then, would that be making it worse? I don't know. I just know that limericks tell a little story and that is the one I told. It was nothing more than that and nothing less.