Before elementary school, I reveled in playing outside. I rarely watched television. I loved to read. Most importantly, however, I loved to invent. Creativity enthralled me. Everyday I had a new game invented. These games were not like hide-and-go-seek or freeze tag. They were much less ephemeral. My games lasted days, weeks even. They contained elaborate plot twists and super powers. Everyone on the playground played my games. For once, I made the rules. And, like a junior Napoleon, I was not questioned. Life is always full of rules. However, being the ruler is much more enticing than being the ruled.
I can pinpoint the exact moment when I stopped playing, stopped creating and inventing on my own schedule. It all started with homework. Homework was the destroyer of my childhood imagination. Melodramatic, I know, but so are most childhood memories. After pre-kindergarten, I began attending school fulltime. School began at eight in the morning and ended at three o'clock in the afternoon. Upon arriving home, the homework began. Dinner promptly concluded or interrupted homework. After dinner, if the homework was not complete, I sat down to finish the work. Bedtime arrived shortly afterwards. Everyday was like this. Even if I finished my homework early, it was usually dark and I was unable to play. One shining light continued to shine: recess. As long as I had recess I could continue my play and exercise my imagination.
The older I grew, however, the more the time allotted for recess diminished. Recess became physical education. Such a scientific name for something that should be fun. The teachers were once again able to convert play into a set of rules associated with education.
This entire diatribe now leads me to the point of this exercise. This class has given me the most wonderful opportunity. The opportunity to reclaim my lost playtime. The opportunity to create and imagine.....I wanted to use form poems to demonstrate the often encountered disparity between creativity and restrictions...
|Freedom: A Villanelle Variation|
--inspired by Huckleberry Finn
A small child runs with speed
That small child, grown tall from greed,
Failing to cultivate that tiny seed
to remember the exhilaration felt when one can lead,
through his mind, without heed.
burns strong in the back of his mind. A seed,
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