I’ll jump overboard and drown/ rather than let you push me below the water/slowly
April 15, 2004 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Teenage Angst Poetry: The Poetry of Adolescence. This has to be one of the best things I have read online in a long time. I’ll share mine if you share yours! (2nd link to CBC Radio 3 Flash site – click through the opening page and then click on the second article. Well worth it.)
posted by Quartermass (14 comments total)
Ok, here is part of one I wrote in grade 8. I was really into Bauhaus and the whole goth rock scene. I was really angry.

Hollow shouts from passages deep within
The terrible lies that kill me
love and lust and rage fills my mind
The one I love will end up burned alive
in my fiery hell.

posted by Quartermass at 10:35 PM on April 15, 2004

This reminds me of one of the best Onion articles ever.

Great find!
posted by tittergrrl at 10:49 PM on April 15, 2004

This is great. As someone who runs a poetry worshop website, I deal with my fair share of teen angst poetry -- now I have somewhere to send them, especially with regard to the "I am alone" category cited ("No one understands my pain").

I've written my fair share of terrible poetry in my time, but as something of a happy-go-lucky youth I am constantly surprised when these kids post poems about killing themselves and I'll never love anyone again after the way you broke my heart and so on and are 14 years old. I mean, 14!

The other end of the spectrum, of course, is the teenage love poem (from a poem on my site: "People don't understand that through bad comes good, / they don't know that our love will last like true love should.") Really stretching the relatedness-to-the-topic, the same poet wrote a patriotic poem which is a gem I've been dying to share:
Freedom is the right to choose what to do.
It is the right to try something new.
Many countries are still opressed.
Dictated and told when to get dressed.
As a final aside, I was quite enthused to see that the click-through page featured Sarah Harmer -- what is it with Canada and incredible music?

(Great post.)
posted by rafter at 11:42 PM on April 15, 2004

I'm impressed that she managed to get so many submissions. I tried to do something similar a few years ago, but people were pretty reluctant to give up the goods (people I knew, at least. Why didn't I think of asking strangers over the internet?).
posted by stuporJIX at 4:41 AM on April 16, 2004

The only poem I ever wrote was for a grade 13 English creative writing project where we were asked to come up with a tagline for an imaginary movie of our choice. I thought this would have fit nicely on the box of an '80s zombie flick:

Live in peril,
Die in pain.
Rise from the grave,
To kill again!
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:04 AM on April 16, 2004

The real poetry of adolescence.
posted by 111 at 7:19 AM on April 16, 2004

See also: the hilarious "TEEN POETRY CORNER"
posted by MaxVonCretin at 7:25 AM on April 16, 2004

Oh gods, I used to publish and edit a mixed media magazine...and the teen angst submissions were enough to drive one to drink...I swear it.

We were going to do a "teen angst" issue, but then we decided it was just way too cruel to make fun of them....ok, not really, we just didn't think it would sell well enough to justify the printing costs of making fun of them. ;)

That said, I have a spiral notebook of my teen years too. I'm just not willing to put that sort of badness out in the wild. Who knows how it would metamorph.
posted by dejah420 at 8:39 AM on April 16, 2004

From "Teen Poetry Corner"

by Cassie Lund

I wallow in darkness
My chest is a blood pumping
Where my heart has been
And is now devoured by rabid
My intestines have been
From my stomach
And they have been used to
My eyeballs are
And my tongue has been
And stapled to my forehead.
My fingers were
Into nubbins
And the nubbins were
Like cocktail weenies on
I am dead now.
Dead to you.
Dead to the world.
And it's all your stupid fault.
Don't you feel sorry now?
You dickhead asshole!

So awesome!

Come on people, share your stuff!
posted by Quartermass at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2004

Oh, how I wish share some of the stuff I read when I was an editor. One began: "Drip, Drip, Drip./ Blood, Blood, Blood/ How much blood does a body contain/ Contained...

It was either about menstruation or murder. Never figured out which.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 9:39 AM on April 16, 2004

Hooooooly jesus Quartermass, I shouldn't read this at work since it is making me giggle. Rad, thanks.
posted by kavasa at 10:08 AM on April 16, 2004

Amazing (actually, not really) how much of this stuff resembles Nine Inch Nails lyrics. If I were Trent Reznor, I'd be pretty embarassed these days...
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:07 PM on April 16, 2004

Here's part of a poem I wrote in 1991 with two of my friends--it was an assignement for our English class:

they were the fear bringers
with threats of eternal hell
burning our bodies into the brimstone of damnation
a daemon soaring
ripping the flesh off our earthly bodies
lucifer and his aide sit in their throne of bones their underlings close at hand
pledging their loyalty to the kings of the dark void

Note the dramatic lack of capital letters and alternative spelling of demon. And, of course, Lucifer and his aide are the principal and the evil vice-principal (we decided to spare the nice vice-principal).

I'm not sure what's sadder--the fact that I'm admitting I helped write this or that I was able to find it in less than 10 minutes on my computer.
posted by eilatan at 6:58 AM on April 17, 2004

Ha, what a coincidence -- I just did some spring cleaning on my hard drive yesterday, erased a lot of things I'd transported into the My Documents (or equivalent) folder on various computers I've had since 1997. In fact, I erased all of it, in shame.

There was some poetry in there, some stories, some "notes" on stories...

Shit, I had every intention of posting one or two of them, since I hadn't emptied the Recycle Bin yet, but looking at them again, I'm chickening out--adolescence is just too embarassing.

I remember I submitted a couple of poems to one of those online poetry scams sites, and for two or three years they sent me junk mail asking me to buy things from them, and in every one of them there would be a copy of the poems I sent, right in the mail box for my parents to read. It was great.
posted by Hildago at 6:04 PM on April 17, 2004

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