Ode to My Poetic Roots

Today’s prompt at OctPoWriMo took me on a trip down memory lane. We were challenged to write about where our first poem came from. Honestly, I don’t remember writing my first poem. I have evidence of poems I wrote in high school and I have a short play (more of a scene) that I wrote in the first grade, but I do recall poetry being a part of my life both early and often. As I explored the poetic influences of my childhood, I had to call my Mom and talk with her about the poems she read to me when I was a child. From my favorite nursery rhyme (“Goosey, Goosey, Gander) to the anthology “Best Loved Poems of the American People”, I would have to say it was my Mom that gave me the gift of poetry. She writes wonderful poems of her own and I dedicate this effort to her. (*With special thanks to Mr. Loyd Hoke for including such a wealth of poetry and fiction in my high school English class!)

Image by Nicole Dextras

           Image by Nicole Dextras

‘Twas early days that I first learned

To read with Mother Goose.

The rhythms and rhymes I heard

Soon led to Dr. Seuss.


Our home was filled with lots of song

And instruments galore.

I loved to read and sing along

While seated on the floor.


I soon outgrew the nursery rhymes

But rhythm stirred my heart.

Words didn’t serve me well at times

So dance became my art.


As time went on, I had to read

Lord Byron, Frost and Guest.

Walt Whitman, Kipling, Keats, indeed.

Poems chosen as the best.


But I was drawn to Plath and Poe.

Their darkness drew me in.

Alas, but how was I to know

My own would soon begin.


My own identity unknown

Adopted after birth.

My teenage angst and heartbreak (groan!)

A dancer’s dreamy mirth.


It took all this to pave this road

That brought me here to you.

I offer this poetic ode.

Now it’s your turn, too!



20 thoughts on “Ode to My Poetic Roots

  1. Lovely poem, dancing with fun, wit, humor, and style. I especially liked that reference to Poe and Plath, for we all face darkness at some point. And those images of dancing — just like the words on the page. Neat rhymes!

  2. I really really like what you wrote. I never thought of the nursery rhymes of my childhood as a first
    exposure to poetry…from 1944 on…but I think you have opened my eyes to a new chain of thought.
    For my children, I read them Dr. Suess and other books in poem style… I can still recite a couple of them start to end !

    Thank you for following my blog…I would have first off, missed this delightful poem of yours…
    I had not noticed it when I checked back.


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