The discovery of an old school book from when I was eleven years old shows me I wrote poetry as a child. At eleven years old I had a reading age of 18 so I was quite ahead for my age.
I Wrote Poetry As A Child
A World Of Childish Imagination
But I didn’t just write poetry. This exercise book shows some short stories, mostly horror stories for some reason. I remember being terrified of the television series Dr Who at that age. I used to hide behind the sofa when the Daleks appeared! That seems to have influenced some of my stories.
I wrote about dreams I had, including one about my house in the future. It would be a big mansion (tick), with a room that was a library (tick). My eleven year old self imagined a four poster bed with hangings (tick – until BB proved to have an allergy to dust mites and we had to get rid of the hangings) and five bedrooms (tick). Fruit trees also featured in my plans (tick). I also wanted a swimming pool and a poster of my (then) hero Cliff Richard on the wall. But you can’t have everything. Well, we could have a swimming pool if we wanted (we don’t) and I have other heroes now I am older.
Two particular poems caught my eye and I reproduce them here. The influence of Sunday School at Church is evident in the first one. The second could have been written about life up my mountain today.
The poems are called ‘A Rainy Day’ and ‘The Wind And The Mist’.
A Rainy Day
Swirling mists have covered the hills,
As the rain God made slowly distils,
No more the sunshine, only rain,
The rain slowly trickling down a drain.
Trees bend and moan,
To the wind’s harsh tone,
As it blows around and around…
The sky once blue now is grey,
And when I look up what do I see,
I see the rain bearing down on me,
Cool, calm and not neglected.
Horrid thoughts of rain rejected,
To myself I think “Oh happy day,
That when God made the sun, he made the rain.”
Rain is beautiful, and it’s clean,
That in a cup it would have a sheen,
Thank you God for sea and cloud,
To refresh this earth of thine.
But neither you nor I would know why,
That in five days the world would die,
But if God had not sent the rain.
Dorothy Berry, Age 11
The Wind And The Mist
The wind blows and the trees bow their heads,
The mist encircles the hills and the tree tops,
The wind rustles and the leaves and howls it’s challenge.
The mist swirls in answer,
And a fight ensues.
The wind howled, the mist swirled,
They fought and fought and fought,
Wrecking everything in their path,
Until at last the mist submitted,
And crept away on the dawn.
Then the wind submits itself to become a breeze,
To think of the victorious outcome,
And then it waits patiently, patiently waiting,
For the evening when mist would come,
And when it would win again.
Dorothy Berry aged 11
I Have Never Lost The Desire To Write
Soon after I wrote these poems I went to senior school. I won a bursary to a private school. My horizons broadened as I was taught physics, chemistry, biology, history and learnt to draw and paint. But I never lost the desire to write. I have really enjoyed the trip down memory lane from this old school exercise book and was delighted to find I wrote poetry as a child. And I might steal my own ideas for future short stories!
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound, an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.