My mum is short and round and fat

What is the earliest poem you have, and what made you get in to poetry?

This week, Jason Pilley answers:

 I’m sure I wrote plenty of poems before the immortal classic that was “My Mum” but that’s the first I can remember writing: I was in third-year of junior-school, nine or ten, and writing-exercises were always my favourite things to do, so when Mrs. Bardie told us it was time to write a poem well that was fucking grand, that was, poetry I knew was rhymes and goofy imagery and scansion and flow, like I say I’d written plenty but the first of all these monstrosities to stay stuck in my brain was the first verse, only the first verse, of this beast, dig it:

My mum is short and round and fat
And always wears that stupid hat:
It has two feathers, green and red,
On that hat upon her head.

It went on for ages, I forgot the rest. A bunch of us in the class had to read our poems at an event at which our parents would be present; I remember my teacher and a bunch of the mothers being confused by my words – Mrs. Pilley wasn’t short not round nor fat nor did she wear a stupid hat and even if she did it probably wouldn’t have feathers in it – but I was confused by their confusion; in being assigned a poem to write on the topic of “My Mum” it hadn’t occurred to me for one second to write a poem about, y’know, my mum.

What made me get into poetry, that’s a whole other story…

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