The Wacky Poem Writer: Young Michelle Okafo

Transcribed for you:


A you out

ther I’m the

wacky poem writer and

snse I’m hear a’ll writ

you a nutty poem

hear it goes aaaa

you you you mmm

now the werds some

are dume some are

none yea yea yea yea yea

makes me fel so good

no no no no makes me

fel so bad but let

me tel you one

thing it is almost

over so by by.

My friend Michelle, at seven years old, showed a sophisticated level of self-awareness in this metapoem. She addresses the reader directly, refers to herself as the writer, talks about the poem itself, and evaluates the wording. Some words, she admits, are dumb, and some, mysteriously, are none. Does this mean that some words are not real words or that they lack meaning? Is she referring to the sound-words like “aaa”? In any case, it’s very zen.

The spelling mistakes add richness. The first word “a” can read as “hey,” or the indefinite article “a”, as in “a you,” or one of the many you’s. “Snse” can be “since” or “sense”  and “I’ll” can also be read as “all,” creating an alternative reading of the line: “sense I’m hear all right.”  Whether these creative spellings were intentional or not does not matter. How many books of literary criticism have been written on meanings the author had not meant? Iasked Michelle if I was reading “werds” correctly and she wrote, “your guess is as good as mine!” What is certain, however, is that she was deliberately playing on the double meaning of the homonym hear / here: “snse I’m hear a’ll writ /you a nutty poem/ hear it goes aaaa.”

The best part of the poem is the rhythm: “yea yea yea yea yea / makes me fel so good / no no no no makes me / fel so bad.” She also warns us that the poem is about to end and says goodbye to the reader. If a wacky kid can writ a metapome, you can two, writ one writ now, you you you mmm.

(Read about Michelle’s proposed meta-holiday: Eatster!)

4 thoughts on “The Wacky Poem Writer: Young Michelle Okafo”

  1. Yay! I’m meta-blog famous! My last name is Okafo, though- but spelling it like this is kinda appropriate since just about every school/teacher made this same mistake when I was this age!

  2. Nice going, Michelle! Ron, for some reason your comments on the poem made me think of this fine film:
    “Double Negative”

  3. Love the film, Kt! “I never been loved by nobody like this before.” “That’s what they call a double negative.”

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