Perhaps it was all that thinking I did about writing and depression, but in the last couple of days I've been ruminating about my history as a writer and the types of writing I've done throughout my life.
When I was young, writing was really my only creative outlet. I have a journal filled with the poetry I wrote as a teenager and in college, and reading it now is, um, interesting. When I was a senior in high school we did a unit on Shakespeare's sonnets, and I was quite taken with the structure of them. This is the first one I wrote–an assignment for the English class:
If I were to reach out and call to thee,
In speaking would my words make me a fool?
If I looked within your soul would I see
A heart of stone and eyes forever cool?
Yet even if I never bare my heart,
In looking at you my eyes betray me.
They speak of feelings words cannot impart
And show you all the passion locked in me.
To say that I love you should be a lie;
For love is only true if is shared.
But I would put one more star in the sky
To know for one short moment that you care.
In loving you I've nothing left to give–
I sometimes wish you'd die so I might live.
So much aching in the heart of a 17 year-old girl! I am not 100% sure, but I think I remember the boy I wrote this about (and I'm friends with him on Facebook now, if I'm thinking of the right person). I was all melodrama and tears back then–this is why I say I wouldn't go back to my youth for anything in the world!
There are eight sonnets in the journal, and five of them are about various forms of unrequited love (for the first 28 years of my life there was no other kind). One is about God–I was once a devout believer–and letting go of Him was a painful but unavoidable part of my life. I don't think I'll be posting that one.
There are other poems besides sonnets in the journal, but I think perhaps the sonnets are the best. The constraints of the Shakespearean sonnet require the writer to keep things tight and choose words wisely–good practice for any writer. I responded to it then and I respond to it now, even if I'm not quite the bundle of teenage angst I was back then.