Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lesbian Teen Poetry: Sarah Laurenson's "First Love" and "How Bare My Soul" - Poetry Across Time

When I told Sarah Laurenson that I was doing a tribute to GLBTQ poetry for and by Teens to celebrate National Poetry Month, she did something incredible: She gave me the choice of a poem she wrote back when she was a teen, and a poem she'd recently written as an adult looking back on being a teenager.

I loved both poems, and perhaps as much, I loved the windows through time that comparing the two poems offered. She's very graciously allowed me to share them both with you!

Sarah Laurenson, Adult

Here's her poem "First Love," written when she was an adult looking back on being a Teenager:

First Love

Lying in your arms,
I feel safe,
Loved, adored.

I snuggle closer.
You talk
Of your future.

Husband, kids.
White picket fence.

I’m so confused.

Do I have to be a man
To be with the woman I love?

Sarah Laurenson, Teen

And now here's her poem "How Bare My Soul," written when Sarah was a Teen:


How bare my soul,
Like trees in winter.
Stripped of outer feeling
By the cold of her passing.
Left barren and defenseless,
I draw into myself
And hibernate.

A breath of spring
Touches me gently.
New emotions, like leaves,
Sprout and take hold of my heart.
Guiding it gently outward,
To find this source of warmth,
My eyes see you.

In addition to being an amazing poet, Sarah has a great blog, and is also a huge volunteer for the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators as our SoCal webmaster and Los Angeles Assistant Regional Advisor.

Thanks, Sarah!


fairyhedgehog said...

Nice work, Sarah!

Wings in the Night said...

That first poem makes me ache. The second fills me with longing.

Sarah is just a beautiful writer. And she is even more beautiful in spirit.

I wish I could write like her.

Anonymous said...

Wow these poems spoke to me, they were so wonderfully written. It's nice to know there are someone out there like myself... Good writing, thanks for posting it Lee..

Charlie said...

Love the simplicity of the first poem, and How Bare My Soul is comforting. Beautiful work!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Aw. Thanks, guys.

And thankfully you write just like yourself, Wings. Your poetry is beautiful.

Lisa Gail Green said...

beautiful! Even as a teen you were an incredible writer. Thank you for sharing - Sarah and Lee! What a neat way to celebrate Poetry month.

Julie Williams said...

So good to see you feature Sarah's amazing work, Lee! Also loved the photos. Sarah, you rock!

Greg Pincus said...

Fantastic! Thanks, Sarah (and Lee, to).

Barbara Bietz said...

Lovely poems - an great photo, too! Thanks Sarah and Lee!

Barbara B

Sherrie Petersen said...

Great poems, Sarah. Both are beautiful and I like the comparison between your adult and teen self. Thanks for letting us have a peek as you bare your soul.

Anonymous said...

These are lovely - so touching. Thank you for sharing, Sarah (and Lee, too!)

tanita✿davis said...

Ah - that first poem stings. A sense of coming gradually into one's place is the unifying theme of coming-of-age poetry, and both of these have touches of that. Painful yet lovely.

Unknown said...

So lovely and evocative.
Yearning, tenderness. Love your
writing & your photos! Thanks Sarah
& Lee.
Eloise Freeman

Suzanne Casamento said...

Wow. Both poems are beautiful.

It's amazing that the second one was written when Sarah was a teen. That's amazing stuff!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I truly appreciate your comments.

This was a great set of LGBTQ poetry. I enjoyed every day of it.

Chris Eldin said...

Ditto Suzanne-- it's amazing you wrote that as a teen. Both are stunning and painfully honest. So beautiful...

Sylvia said...

I know I'm late but I wanted to say that the combination of these two poems is beautiful.

Jinksy said...

Better late than never! Glad I found these - I loved Sarah's second poem.