How Herb Became a Poet


The Failure 

Herb has always had trouble with writing and with reading. He was always a very poor speller. He learned when he was in his 20s that he had dyslexia. He could read “was” as “saw” and wonder why it did not make sense. He claimed that for a spelling test if he could get the first two letters right and squiggle the rest, that it should be considered passing. His teachers did not agree.

Herb’s 4th grade teacher told him that he would never be able to write a complete sentence, let alone a paragraph. In time he learned to use a straight-edge under each line of writing he was reading, and his reading ability improved. He decided that he should not plan on becoming a writer.

One homework assignment was to write a poem. After he turned in a masterpiece of poetry, his teacher wrote him off completely. Why don’t you judge his masterpiece?

“A cat sat,

On a mat,

And ate a rat.”

The teacher gave him a failing grade because she claimed that the rules said that the poem should have at least 5 lines.

The Lesson   

Herb learned that sometimes teachers invent rules when they are faced with greatness. This helped him when, no matter what he produced, bosses were never happy.

The Success      

Herb did a lot of photography and that did not need spelling, until he found that he had to write captions for the photographs. He found that after writing a caption, if he would let it sit for a while, he could slowly read it and spot and fix some of the errors. Suddenly he could write. Not very well, but he could write a complete sentence.

Then he met and married Judy. She started dripping blood (red ink) over everything he wrote and even removed a few of the prepositions from the ends of some of his sentences. Suddenly he could write much better. Or is that gooder? People could actually read what he wrote.


Author: Herb

In January, 2010, I left corporate America, and now I have my own business. Since I have never been able to focus on one item (Does that make me a scatter brain?), I divided my company into three divisions: Kayak guiding and instructing - specializing in nature kayaking, Building materials consultant - specializing in cements and forensics, and Writing - Stories w/ life lessons and construction books that are fun to read. Published books: The Stucco Book - The Basics, Animals I Have Hated, Grandpa, Help! Answers to Questions a Young Lady Would Never Ask Her Parents, Grandpa Helps Grandparents, Living with Cancer – That Intense Houseguest, Homes for Jubilee (June, 2016), and Kay pou Jubilee (in Haitian Creole) (August, 2016). Forthcoming Books: The Adhered Concrete Masonry Veneer Book, The Stucco Book - Forensics and Repairs, and Failing My Way to Success.

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