Tuesday, 14 February 2017

History, My Story

Last year, I sent this nostalgic piece to an online poetry website. This morning, I received a polite and sympathetic rejection of my submission as well as an encouragement to submit again any time I liked. I’m grateful to the editor for considering my work—one of over a hundred thousand he receives every year. His is a tough call. I will continue to write—and write better, hopefully—and continue to send out my stuff. Hope springs from the roster of famous writers who were repeatedly rejected before they were first published. I’m still taking guard at the starting block of creative writing.

Here is the slightly modified version of my poem History, My Story.


Chronicle of past times
and all of human history.
Record of peoples and events
glorious and dark.

My beloved subject
in high school and after.
Till a teacher's misdemeanour
makes me hate it, almost.

Bell rings, class out
rushing down the aisle.
He grabs me by the collar
slams me against the wall.

What did I do?" A fearful cry
"How dare you distract!" he rages.
Pleading look, sniggering mates
they wink and smile. 

Calendars later, I still remember
the day, the date, the pain.
'twas a history lesson
I will never forget.



© Prashant C. Trikannad

14 comments:

  1. That is a powerful poem, Prashant. It shows, among so many other things, what a difference a teacher makes, for better or worse. That's one reason teaching is such an important profession.

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    1. Thank you, Margot. Sadly, I haven't forgotten his name or face. Some things just don't go away, do they?

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  2. That happened to me, Prashant, the teacher misdemeanor. He knocked me out of my seat. Lesson learned. Fine poem.

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    1. Thank you, Oscar. I think most of us have unpleasant memories of school. Fortunately, I didn't end up hating History as much as I ended up detesting Math.

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  3. Yikes, man. Sounds like there's a pretty interesting story in there.

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    1. Thanks, Charles. I'd hate to write that story though I'd love to write about history.

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  4. I do know how teachers can affect our lives, Prashant. That is a poem many people can relate to and it expresses your pain well. I had a teacher who made me feel inadequate in grade school, but mostly in high school all my teachers affected me positively. I think I was lucky.

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    1. Thank you, Tracy. I'm glad I could share it here. I had some wonderful teachers who cultivated my love for English, Geography, and History (not the one above!), though I hated school and Math.

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  5. Harsh subject matter, and a lesson in how a teacher has an effect. A memorable poem Prashant.

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    1. Thank you, Moira. School wasn't particularly a nice place and I have few good memories. Mugging lessons, as the Indian education system encourages, made it worse.

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  6. Prashant – Vivid moment, nicely done with few words, and it puts the reader right into the scene.

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    1. Thank you, Elgin. In India, children are taught early on to look upon their teachers as their parents. I guess, it's not always the other way around.

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  7. Wow, a 100,000 submissions a year? Well, I guess the will have to reject rather a lot in that case but glad they got back to you. I really enjoyed this - and reminded me that I have mostly been very lucky with the teachers in my life and none treated me in a way that made me feel disrespected. I dare say I have been lucky. Life after school has been a little tougher on that score, I'll admit! Thanks for sharing this Prashant, much appreciated.

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    1. More like 120,000, Sergio. The editor gave no other reason and wrote in a way as not to hurt my feelings. It showed real character. Well, I have been lucky with a few teachers at the three schools I went to. My English teachers were particularly supportive; maybe because I took as much interest! Thanks, Sergio.

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