Staring

Why do people stare?
Is it because they’re nosy,
Or is it because they’re not anywhere?
Are they really staring,
Or is something wrong with their eyes?
Maybe they’re just staring
Because they’re in surprise.
Do they know it’s rude to stare?
Do they think they saw a bear?
Or do they see a tiger or a lion?
I’m looking for the answer,
and I keep on tryin’.

– Written by Anna Williams at age 8
Vermont, USA

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About Anna

Anna Vera Williams is a poet, a photographer, a blogger, and a webmaster. She is the webmaster of Poems, Poets, & Poetry, which provides poetry resources and allows other poets to showcase their work. Her photographs can be found at Anna Vera's Photography, and her books and photos can be purchased at Lulu.com.

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6 Responses to “Staring”

  1. S. Thomas Summers Says:

    quite impressive. i didn’t cath the muse until later in life. keep writing!!!!

  2. Brian Says:

    “Or is it because they’re not anywhere?”

    What a great line… and as Janet says especially for an 8 year old. but something about it coming from an eight year old gives it more meaning because it exists at that level and many levels beyond.

    How many times I have stared because I felt I was nowhere, that I didn’t even exist…

  3. janetleigh Says:

    Anna, were you born writing a poem? (Just kidding 🙂 Again, I just want to say that I’m impressed by your writing skills evidenced by this poem written at such an early age. Your vocabulary consists of words beyond your years in my opinion and I’d love to learn more about your early life and what your parents did to infuse such a love for words, writing, reading, that fostered your love for writing. Did your parents read to you or play classical music from the beginning of your mother’s pregnancy? It appears to me that you’ve been a unique person from the get-go. I know these questions are of a personal nature, but I’m so curious about your formative years.

    Even the subject matter of this poem is interesting for an 8 year old. Unless, of course, you were into “staring” contests with family and friends. I seem to remember such an activity when I was a young child. 🙂

    These line pairs are especially interesting for me:

    “Is it because they’re nosy,
    Or is it because they’re not anywhere?”

    and

    “Maybe they’re just staring
    Because they’re in surprise.”

    for the esoteric quality of the first pair and because the second pair flows beautifully.

    Very good for an 8 year old in my opinion 🙂

  4. Ario Says:

    In absolute agreement with the others here, this is absolutely remarkable for an 8 year old (wish that some adults could write like this, too ;)).

    Strong lines and rhymes again. I think these poems which you wrote when you were so young would definitely make for brilliant children’s rhymes and poems, if you know what I mean?

    Would you terribly mind if I stole it for my nearly three year old daughter? I think she would love learning it…:)

    Good stuff.

  5. Anna Says:

    Thanks Janet. When I wrote that poem I was at a summer camp in Vermont. We had had a poetry seminar of some sort. In general, yes, my mom read books to me, like the Narnia Series and J.R.R. Tolken. When I was 10 years old she was reading the Lord of the Rings to me.

    But in general I believe that we are all spiritual beings and what we create comes from within; it depends on ourselves. Though support and education help a lot! My parents have always been great supporters of my poetry.

    But when we are born with something, chances are, we have already been practicing it for a long, long time.

    When I was 8 or 9 years old some of my poems were performed to music at a New York theatre.

    I remember feeling very casual and bored about everything, while the grown-ups around me seemed to be all in an uproar about my poetry. I was a bit like “what’s the big deal here … ” Now I am a grown-up myself, and I take care of 10-year-olds. I look at some of my childhood poetry and I go “I wrote that when I was 10!!??” Haha.

    “Staring” was inspired by another boy at the summer camp who, when I was sitting near the campfire space during the day, was staring at me annoyingly. :)) I didn’t know him, he was just one of those people who stares off at you without realizing he’s being obvious.

    When I wrote “Junkyard” at age 12, for example, my parents were in shock and kept asking me how I wrote that. And what was I thinking of when I wrote it. And all I had been thinking about was “lets see, what rhymes with …” That poem was started when I was reading a book and I had to look up the word “iridescent” in the dictionary. So then I thought it would be a good word for a poem. And I was like “what rhymes with that … fluorescent …” and I looked that up in the dictionary too, to make sure I knew what it meant and whether or not a snake’s coil could be fluorescent … that’s how the writing went.

    I don’t mind the personal questions, by the way. I grew up in normal suburbs, moving often, attending horrendous public schools where I was mercilessly teased. My official attempts at poetry started at age 8 when I had that seminar in summer camp. Though I would make up songs when I was 4 and sing them and my mom would write them down.

    I had one year of home school from ages 9 – 10, and that was tremendously successful. We rented a small beech house and I spent most of my time outside or attending various classes, which had nothing much to do with normal school, but left me ahead of the rest of the class when I returned to public school a year later.

    I could say a lot more maybe I should save it for later! I traveled around Europe and Asia as a teenager, as you might see from some of my poetry. On my blog there is also a link to two books I wrote – “Mongol Journal” and a poetry book. Mongol Journal is basically my diary of traveling through Mongolia by horse etc.

    Thanks again for your comments. They really brighten my day when I see them. You’re the best.

  6. Anna Says:

    Ario, yes of course you can print it off for your daughter, just remember to keep the byline. Thanks!

    Sarah, it’s going fine. I was a few days late this week due to travel but the blogroll is going great.

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