Have you ever read an original manuscript? As a college student, I saw one of Jane Austen’s notebooks in the British Library. What a thrill to be inches away from the site of her creation – as if I could see the ink drying on the pages.
Yesterday I held in my hand another writer’s original manuscript. It was a book of twenty-two poems. The work is fresh and imaginative. Like most published books of poetry, it includes a dedication, table of contents, and biography. As you read the biography, you will note one important detail: The poet is nine years old. Her name is Hannah. I like to call her Super Hannah.
Super Hannah studied poetry at school and, at the encouragement of her teachers and parents, decided to produce her own book of poetry. Hannah has chosen a writer’s life. She is in the habit of chronicling her adventures. She has always kept a journal. She oozes with creativity.
With Hannah and her parents’ permission, I would like to share two of my favorite poems from Hannah’s book:
The Eaten Apples
My dog ate apples
I don’t know why he did
They ripped all his teeth out,
And then he ran and hid
I guess he did not want me to see
But really how bad could those teeth be?
A lights life is a bore.
A light switch is always sore
Hannah is playing with words. She is experimenting with language and form. She is building her creative muscles. How exciting! How wonderful! How super, Hannah. Keep writing, every day. Keep playing with words. Keep creating, expressing, exploring, and examining. Enjoy words. I’ll be the first in line at your book-signing.