R is for Roberts

13th November 2010 125

Number 18 in The A to Z of the Writer’s Affliction, part of the A to Z blogging challenge.

How did it all begin? Were there any early symptoms that, if detected, could have been nipped in the bud? Was I misdiagnosed? Given the wrong treatment? Was I actually encouraged?

Regretfully, yes. Looking back, it all comes down to Mr. Roberts, who asked us to write a poem about autumn. At ten, I’d never thought of writing a poem before, but I knew you had to find words that rhyme and while I was at it, I unwittingly threw in a bit of post-modernist subversion. After much thought, I came up with the stunning title Autumn.

The seasons turn, the world grows old,

The woodland turns from green to gold.

I hate suet. Rice is better.

I mustn’t forget to post that letter.

There were several other verses, but fortunately I don’t remember them. The real problem, though,  wasn’t the poem itself. The problem was that Mr. Roberts liked it. He even sent it off to a poetry competition for 10-year olds. And just like that, I was ruined, lured by the sirens onto the rocks of writing. So really, Mr. Roberts, I know you meant well, but if you’d ripped it into shreds and, with a sneer of disdain, watched them flutter into the waste-paper bin, I wouldn’t now be gripped by this strange compulsion and you wouldn’t be the letter R in the A to Z of the Writer’s Affliction.