I think poems are not unlike a penis in that if some one loves you very much they will pretend that yours is awesome and that they like it very much but most everyone else would prefer you kept it to yourself. To extend the metaphor, there are poems that are so magnificent that they can make a living for the author in the public sphere but those are few and far between. With that in mind I had a delusion of grandeur surrounding my poetical skills, I started writing some pseudo-deep surly and self-righteous offerings when I was a junior. Sometimes I would rattle off several poems and format them and print them out to put in a binder. I would bring my binder around with me and to extend the metaphor even further, show it to girls to try and impress them. Almost to a woman they feigned interest and would leaf through the binder and make the appropriate interested hums and make the necessary head nods. With the benefit of hind sight my confidence in their quality and profundity has faded in re-reading them as a new, older and more mature person. To answer the begged question – no, I don't think that my current writing is sad and pretentious. I will know that in ten years. I rode into Freedom Academy riding some unreasonable confidence in my literary prowess and signed up for the talent show. When the night came for the recital I found out that friends and family as well as local celebrities would be in attendance and my confidence was shaken a little. To top it off I was short of clothes and only had a tee shirt and cut-off shorts left to wear. When I saw the other kids ready to go up on stage dressed like it was time for church I was a little more embarrassed. Right before my turn I looked out in the audience and noticed that my new girlfriend was in the audience as well. I was cold and shaking with a sick stomach but I went onto the stage and read my heavy-hand and preachy poem that chided the listener for being a bigot. I got some polite clapping when I was done but something in my mind connected and I realized that what I had written was not that good and I knew I was not going to be in the running for an award. After the last performance and the awards I got to go talk to my girlfriend and she was very sweet about my writing and I was circumspect in my personal distance with her as she was there sitting with her dad. I never recited poetry again.