I recently found a poem I wrote when I was 18 reading it I see how unhappy and confused I used to be. When I was about 15 or so I discovered a poem by Emily Dickinson on bee's. I'll never forget the jolt of awareness that brought me. I instantly started researching who she was and discovered I truly related to her sense of isolation but also wonder at the world. I get quite overwhelmed with emotion daily to be honest and it's taken me years to figure out how to not be drained by this fast paced world we live in.
After I discovered Emily I went on to read Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and Jane Kenyon. I asked my dad if I could have his old desk in the basement along with his typewriter. So I would spent hours writing in our basement which quite worried my mother "What are you doing down there..why don't you go out?"
I did burn or throw away all of the poetry I had written from the time I was 15 - 18 and it was quite a lot of poems. My friend Jim (a poet himself who introduced me to The Beat Poets) told me I would regret it but I don't. Those writings were filled with pain, trauma, loneliness, the sense of feeling rejected and unlovable so why keep them?