Going through boxes again, I came on my first diary. It dates from when I was six, and I can still remember being inspired to start writing when my mother gave me a metal box of index cards. Here are a few entries (text on the right in case you can’t read it):


This is My Diary
in every few years this will
seem silly.
c                               End

I was happy win I
wrote this I had a leaf and
put it in clas 1A, Oct. 5 1955 .
Meryl Barbara Natchez
Mary 4, 19457

last night I wrote a pome:

Spring is here now finly

I still remember how that poem started:

Spring is here now finally,
Spring is here to stay.
Spring will be here until
Summer comes our way…

There was a stanza for every season. What’s remarkable to me is that I was self-conscious from the first entry on, something that still plagues my writing. Also, I never could spell, and it’s been a very long time since I thought of myself as Meryl Barbara Natchez.





9 thoughts on “Juvenilia

  1. spring is here
    but I’m not sure
    when I go out
    I still say: burr

    That is one of my brothers childhood poems. We liked it so much every spring we would spontaneously recite it. It has never left my mind.
    The world of childhood is like a fable itself. Imagination wide open, pearls drop effortlessly and dark shadows threaten.
    I like your early efforts, especially the spelling.

  2. Your brother is obviously more talented and less conventional than I, though not in his spelling!

  3. I wrote so many poems as a kid! This post makes me nostalgic for those young thoughts and impressions.

  4. Meryl:

    Michael and I were at the Mill Valley library a few years ago – the library was hosting an exhibit of children’s poetry – this one is remarkable:
    When the world met me
    on the day I was born
    it was morning .
    The angel of flames led
    me to the sun.
    I was not afraid to dance.
    I heard the silent stars
    moving through the sky.
    Max, 3rd grade, Tam Valley School, Marin

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