Monday, April 27, 2009

Another Time

I said I'd save my childhood poetry story for another time. Here is that time.

We didn't have money when I was a kid, but somehow (probably by selling pot or other drugs) my dad managed to buy us some expensive toys like our Atari and an Apple II C. I'm pretty sure that computer cost him like $3,000. Ridiculous! Anyway, I spent many hours making pictures on Apple Paint Shop, printing them out on our sweet dot matrix printer, and tearing off the perforated edges of our printer paper.

I don't know what program I used for typing, but I do remember typing out all my childhood poems. My 4th grade teacher told me I had talent, and because she believed in me, I started to believe it myself. My dad said someday he'd publish my poems for me. That hasn't happened yet. I still have a folder holding all those poems printed out from that old Apple Computer.

Fast forward from childhood to Florida in 1999. It was the fall, and it was my first year teaching. I was teaching 3rd grade just outside Orlando. We were reading from one of the class readers when suddenly, I froze. I couldn't speak. I couldn't do anything.

There in the book was one of my poems! It was a poem I had written ... or so I thought. I had to stop class and regain my composure. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I hadn't meant to plagiarize, but there it was, clearly a poem written by Christina Rossetti.

When I got home, I immediately called my mom. I first said, "Remember this poem I wrote?" and recited it for her. Of course she remembered. It had been one of their favorites. Then I broke the news to her.

I still laugh about it; and I still wonder what other poems I didn't really write.

1 comment:

Darrell said...

I've been listening to an intro to Psych class and they talked about exactly this phenomenon today!

Evidently it's called cryptomnesia and it happens a lot to people who are writing papers.