One type of poem I used to make my students write was a childhood memory poem. I would begin by having them draw the room where they slept when they were about eight years old. Then we’d fill in details–what toys they had, what games they played, what their room sounded like, smelled like, what friends came over. That sort of thing.
There was always at least one kid who didn’t have a bedroom at that age–which is sad. But what was even sadder were the kids who didn’t remember being eight. I’ve run into that a lot as a teacher–people who don’t really remember their childhoods.
I find it odd. And depressing. Have they repressed the memories? Or did they really just not make any lasting memories?
I’m sure I’m forgetting most of my childhood (we forget most of our lives, really). But I remember quite a bit of detail–what my bedroom carpet looked like (pink shag), what my bedroom smelled like (dust bunnies and raspberry bubble gum melted over a lightbulb). I remember the view out my bedroom window. I remember the sounds of being at home.
I remember Barbie.
1984 Barbie teases her hair Blue eyeshadow Mini skirt Heels that won't stay on Feet that don't need them-- Zips around town In her pink corvette. It's Saturday. She'll pick up Ken at eight. He's just a toy, But Barbie-- She's for real. --S. Stowers