POST #186 – MORE ABOUT MY FIRST LOVE

I’ve loved poetry since an infant school teacher first delved into her handbag and put a poetry book in my hands. 

I had read all the reading books in class and she was looking for something to keep me occupied until the school bell rang for the end of the lesson.

My late father, the writer Ralph L Finn, used to quote poems at me all the time. It drove me mad. But now I find myself doing exactly the same to my own children and grandchildren.

I’ve been writing poetry since I was about eight years old. My first poem, written when I was in junior school, was entitled, “The Squirrel and the Hare”.

The Squirrel and the Hare

“What of the woods?”

said the squirrel to the hare

“branches bare, thick moss

everywhere

where nuts can be found

and the ground

is as flat

as a beaten door mat “

“Well? What about that?”

said the hare.

“So, what do I care

for the branches bare?

I have the hay

and seeds can be found

on the ground which is sweet

and lies lush at my feet …”

“Please come to the woods!”

“No thanks,” said the hare

“I’m quite happy here.”

Then they both said together

“Never mind the wind or weather

We will always stay together

 Squirrel and hare.”

Now, should you find their bush

Please tiptoe and don’t stare

For you may find them sleeping there …

Squirrel and hare.

The headmistress contacted my parents, convinced they had helped me with it or even written it for me. Fortunately, they managed to convince her otherwise.

From then on I was hooked.

What about you? What was your first love? And did it remain with you – as poetry has for me – all your life?

    

My father, Ralph L Finn    (1912-1999)

© Andrea Neidle. My Life in Poems

4 thoughts on “POST #186 – MORE ABOUT MY FIRST LOVE

  1. Hi Andrea,

    I am staggered that you still have anything from that time in your life. I can confidently say I have nothing at all from that time in mine. How do you manage to hang on to it? I cannot remember any of the poetry I wrote aged eight – simply that I enjoyed writing it.

    Lots of love

    Dan xxx

    Like

  2. Hi Andy, I just enjoyed this very much. I didn’t write poetry as a kid but have a vivid memory, a dusk…what Longfellow called The Children’s Hour, sitting in my living room, always in the same chair before dinner and reading poems from a beautiful leather bound collection of Robert Frost poems. He is still my favorite poet. Who is yours? I had my own shiva for my sister in 2018; won’t go into those details. but after i spoke about her i recited a part of his poem, Birches.

    I’d like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. May no fate willfully misunderstand me And half grant what I wish and snatch me away Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it’s likely to go better. I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk *Toward* heaven, till the tree could bear no more, But dipped its top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

    On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 10:26 AM My Life in Poems wrote:

    > Andrea Neidle posted: “I’ve loved poetry since an infant school teacher > first delved into her handbag and put a poetry book in my hands. I had > read all the reading books in class and she was looking for something to > keep me occupied until the school bell rang for the end of” >

    Like

  3. wow!!!!! that is an amazing poem for anyone, but particularly a child – you definitely had the talent from birth my friend!!

    Like

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