Cleaning out files and more files of papers I wrote when earning my degrees in English (B.A. and M.A.) had me exclaiming over and over again—”Did I write that?” I guess expressing surprise at my abilities is better than being disappointed. However, I do wonder where that analytical mind is that compared Gertrude Stein’s “The Gentle Lena” and T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” in regard to how the authors use structure, language and diction to disrupt the conventional illusion of female/male romantic love, illustrating instead relationships where there is coupling like that of boxcars forming a train, separate units pushed together by forces greater than themselves, resulting in a union without a meaningful connection. Yes, I, the student wrote that once upon a time, and more. . . . .At least I recognized my ironic tone and marginal abilities in this poem I wrote for a beginning creative writing class:
My Christmas Surprise by Robin Craig Armstrong Don't touch they say; don't rattle and shake, for surprise is the magic. Go to sleep, dream so deep morning will be here right after. So off I go to slumberland anxiously anticipating pogo sticks, baseball bats, and Lincoln Logs to build with, soldier sets, a Tonka truck, a heavy-duty hammer— foil wrapped gifts just for me, set to glow beneath the tree. Awake they say; morning is here, don’t waste another minute sleeping. Santa has come and gone, and filled the Christmas stockings. So off I run to unwrap a bounty of gifts awaiting— teddy bears, fuzzy hares, and dainty little dollies, pink pajamas, ribboned robes, and satin flowered boxes, tea time tables with porcelain pots adorned with purple roses.
A day of cleaning out closets can be a day of self discovery.