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Tony Grist

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Keeping Faith [May. 28th, 2016|01:57 pm]
Tony Grist
Going through a drawer this morning I found the letter from 1968 in which- aged 17- I announced to my mother that I was going to be a poet. "Silly, pretentious little twit," I thought and then, "Hang on a minute, I didn't say I was going to be a famous poet, just a poet- and as unfamous poets go I've been as productive- and published as much- as most- so, actually- that's a pledge I've kept...."
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: angiereedgarner
2016-05-28 01:04 pm (UTC)
Well done. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-05-28 02:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2016-05-28 01:34 pm (UTC)
Quite right!

I always find the "Letters to my 17-year-old self" type meme that one occasionally sees on social media a little irritating, however well meant and "It gets better"-y. Or rather, my own 17-year-old self does (we don't need to write letters because she never moved out). I'd rather read "Letters to my middle-aged self" from 17-year-olds. On which note, I like that bit in The Go Between:

If my twelve-year-old self, of whom I had grown rather fond, thinking about him, were to reproach me: “Why have you grown up such a dull dog, when I gave you such a good start? Why have you spent your time in dusty libraries, cataloguing other people’s books instead of writing your own? What has become of the Ram, the Bull, and the Lion, the examples I gave you to emulate? Where above all is the Virgin, with her shining face and long curling tresses, whom I entrusted to you?”


I'm glad you kept your pledge. Justifying your failure to do so by scoffing at your own youthful hopes would have been sad indeed.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-05-28 03:21 pm (UTC)
I made another pledge around the same time that I would never forget how it feels to be young- and like to think I've kept that one too.
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2016-05-28 01:44 pm (UTC)
I wanted to be a cowboy or an astronaut. I turned out to be an English teacher. I wrangled obstreperous youth instead of cows and taught them to reach for the stars. Or at least look up and see that they were there.

Close enough.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-05-28 03:19 pm (UTC)
Kids are harder work than cows.

In the same drawer I found an ancient snapshot of myself in my cowboy outfit. I think I realised that being a cowboy wasn't a realistic ambition for an English boy living in South London but it didn't stop me dreaming the dream.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2016-05-28 03:26 pm (UTC)
Good for you! And I don't think anybody's dreams are silly or pretentious at age 17.
:)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-05-28 03:32 pm (UTC)
No, they're not.
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[User Picture]From: porsupah
2016-05-28 04:12 pm (UTC)
Of course, this reminds me of this OGLAF strip. (Pretty much SFW, though many others aren't =:)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-05-29 08:53 am (UTC)
Hmm, just as well I'm not at work then... unless sitting at the breakfast table with my mother counts as work...
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2016-05-28 06:05 pm (UTC)
and as unfamous poets go I've been as productive- and published as much- as most- so, actually- that's a pledge I've kept....

Congratulations!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-05-29 08:53 am (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: artkouros
2016-05-30 02:02 pm (UTC)
In 1968 I wanted to be Batman.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-05-30 03:56 pm (UTC)
And did you achieve your ambition?
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[User Picture]From: artkouros
2016-05-30 08:22 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, just the millionaire playboy part.
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