Dave's High School Poetry - 1975

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(Click or Scroll Down to Read My Overview & Background below)

1975

1.

Lost

Feb 5

11.

The Price Must Be Paid

Mar 21

2.

Zombies

Feb 7

12.

I Whisper Quietly...

Mar 26

3.

Always Two

Feb 9

13.

Hello

Apr 6

4.

I Had No Prior Knowlege...

Feb 12

14.

Where Are You?

Apr 12

5.

An Idea

Feb 12

15.

It Is What It Is

Apr 15

6.

Good For Naught

Feb 13

16.

Tuesday Evening Adagio

Apr 22

7.

Keep It Cool, Dear

Feb 26

17.

A Pair, Ma Chere?

Apr 24

8.

Plain Geometry?

Feb 26

18.

Reflections of a Youth Lost
in Being Finally Found

May 4

9.

Is This Really What You Seek?

Mar 13

19.

Time Reigns Immortal

May 4

10.

Gone

Mar 14

20.

I Sit and I Wait

May 7

Overview & Background: 1975

It is hard for me to remember, describe, and place into context for you my life for the year of 1975.

I was in 10th grade. I was 15 years old, turning 16 in July. I had fallen madly in love with a girl in my English class and was tormented when she dated another but sat directly next to me (enjoying the shower of dual attentions). I was gawky and goofy, but witty and intelligent. My family had raised me to be both trusted and spoiled (as the youngest and most responsible) and suppressed and oppressed (by my older rivals). I learned early to live within myself, my room, and my own mind. Nobody knew to show me what was possible, what I might do or choose to like. It was a year spent riding my new 10-speed bicycle (freedom!), pondering my future, feeling the strength of my own self authority, and tripping over my lack of confidence. In many ways, I was an adult in a child's body, thinking and asking questions that nobody felt responsible to answer; searching for solutions that were discarded out of hand by the grown up world. Many things that I am today were set into place during that year, and I can recall through my writing the slow progress and changes as I became who I am.

While I learned to write in English class, my other grades suffered as A's turned into B's. I had no mind for what I was being taught, either picking things up immediately or procrastinating them out of existence. I had taken to going to sleep at 6pm (before dinner) and arising at 1am to read and write. My parents seemingly accepted this without question. I spent the summer lost, grieving my unrequited love, playing baseball with my friends, and sorting and selling sets of baseball cards through the mail. I returned to school no less shy, having still never attended a school dance or a football or basketball game.

During the first semester of 11th grade (Sept 1975), I so quickly finished the assignments in my "computer programming" class (BASIC) that I requested and received permission to attend ungraded instead during that hour the "creative writing" class that was offered three doors away. It must have been weird to everybody first that I finished the weekly assignments during the first 30 minutes each Monday so that I could easily excuse myself the rest of the week and second that I would take that freedom and apply it to attending a different class (you can imagine the feedback that my fellow 11th graders provided -- from both classes). At the same time, there seems to be no mention or recognition of this from the teachers, my school counselor, the administrators, my coordinator for my gifted program, or my parents. How bizarre to act so strangely and have it seemingly go completely unnoticed.

I read voraciously any poet I could find, simply going down the bookshelf and leafing through anthologies. From Langston Hughes and e.e. cummings to Robert Frost and Edgar Guest. In the end, I fell in love with the surreal bites provided by Stephen Crane, and research into analysis of his writings drew me also to Emily Dickinson. It is funny that I did not read "The Red Badge of Courage" for another twenty years, and even then only out of a sense of duty during a round of perusing famous American fiction.

After 1975:

I met Lyn in December 1975, and my formal poetry collection (entered here) runs out shortly afterward. I know that I wrote her poems and sonnets and stories and plays but they are now kept only in hand written manuscripts in well-traveled shoe boxes. My writing continued, but developed into something more nebulous, with more novels and plays started and less simple poetry.

We dated during my 11th grade Spring (Jan-Jun 1976) when I was out of the building attending a class at the off-site computer center from 8am-10am each morning. From here, I eventually entered a gifted program allowing me to spend the following year, 12th grade, in the building only 2 hours per day. I received a new-used car and went to the community college to take Economics, and Programming, and Calculus. During this time I became a charter member in a program for gifted students, being allowed to enroll in the local community college. I aced the SAT, sat for over a dozen CLEP exams and received recognition for the Teachers of English writing award. Yet, I did not belong anywhere. I never joined a club, racing home when the bell rang. I never found a cause, or an interest except riding my bicycle alone in elements, and sitting in my room and composing verse. When I met Lyn, I transferred that personal solitude to her, spending every waking minute possible in her presence, testing academically gifted but failing at anything that required follow up or attention to detail.

I attended classes straight through from September 1975 until I took my first job in May 1979. I took summer school between 11 and 12, then left early and started college in June, too impatient to wait for September 1978. After one year at college (Sep78-May79) I decided I could wait no longer and took a job writing computer code. It was a strange time in America, early in the Carter administration, and just before the Iranian hostage crisis and anyone that could code had a job. By then, years had passed without writing poetry and I had squarely pointed my intellect to the lucrative field of coding. It would be 20 years in the future before I would rediscover the release in putting pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) writing fiction, family histories, and now web pages. But I have changed very little from the young man that can be found in these decades old verses. While I was working so hard to discover who I was, I found exactly what I sought. Although decades have elapsed, I can still remember the angst, the joy, the fear, the elation felt by the person that someday would be me. While you might say (as some did) that I had the mind of a forty year old back then, others instead now rightly say that today I carry the spirit of a fifteen year old in my heart.

My year of 1975 was amazing to me. I share it with you here.




Original Web Upload December 2000
Last Update: December 26, 2000