Civilization is
social order supporting
cultural creativity.

Will Durant

The picture below elicited the following poem:

“A Lyrical-Letter to My Art Teacher.”


As a youngster, I always got an “A” on my Art work. But was worried I would end up with a “B” on the picture you see above, because I had to erase a number of times, in an effort to correct the airplane wing’s perspective .

I didn’t succeed, as you can see! But the strong emotion involved in the project elicited the following poem:

“A Letter to My Art Teacher:

Dear Mr. Webb:
If you’ll take mercy on my age,
You’ll excuse the mistakes on this page;
But look at it and like it not,
The blood in my veins will be running hot!

I thought and I drew to get an “A,”
And expected it to be that way.
The smudges and the creases you see
Were made ’cause I didn’t want a “B.

“Don’t see the badness; the goodness, instead.
I drew it all with a pencil lead.
The idea didn’t come from brain,
But I drew it’s all, just the same.

Isn’t it wonderful? I think it is.
The dolly was made for sister Liz;
The drum was made in honor of Ted —
He does so admire purple and red.

The rest was made’ cause the idea was that way;
I think it’s the image of a Christmas Day.
I know, myself, the airplane is queer;
To leave it out would ruin the design so dear.

Of course, if you don’t give me an “A,”
It means you didn’t see it that way.
But I spent a very long time on it.
For hours it seems I did sit,
Trying to make this X-mas scene perfect.

If you knew how hard it was to do,
You’d take mercy on my age —
My inexperience too;
You’d think of it my way,
And in your Grade Book
Mark another “A.”

It seems my lyrical-letter worked:
Mr. Webb gave me an “A.”
Then wrote a little poem
of his own to say:

“You’ve been a good girl
Every day;
Your pictures are great
And well worth an ‘A’.”  
~Mr. Webb

(Thank you, Mr. Webb:
You made my day!)

The following is the original poem,
written on the back of the above picture.

Following this handwritten lyrical-letter are some pictures I did in art classes, from ages twelve through fourteen.


2 thoughts on “Memoir Poem I Wrote: A Letter to My Art Teacher — and Some 6th-8th Grade Artwork

  1. One thing that amazes me about you is your incredible memory.

    You even remember the sense of sibling rivalry you felt when you were being potty trained.

    Very few people can remember back that far.

    Just one more reason I think that it is essential that you preserve and distribute your memoirs.

    You have written much about your mother and your father.

    I want to hear more about YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s heartening to know that you do not say it’s impossible to remember things when you were a baby. Many people don’t believe anyone can remember anything younger than when they were four to six years old! I remember a number of poignant things that happened to me – even as young as six months old.

      Yes, I’m tempted to relate those memories, but it may lose me a following — or may do more harm than good. I’m equivocating on whether to write my whole story, therefore

      Besides, siblings have already told me I couldn’t possibly remember those things so I had to have made them up. What’s new? All they really know is that they don’t remember anything at nearly so young an age.


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