• Browsing all articles in Writings From a Past Life

    WFPL: David Foster Wallace

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in Writings From a Past Life     Comments 28 comments

    In previous Writings From a Past Life we’ve printed childhood works and then David has gone off on silly and pointless riffs which have proven funny only to himself. (His words.) This week is different.

    While doing research for an upcoming article, I got the chance to root around in the David Foster Wallace papers at the University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center. I unearthed lots of neat (neat? Come on) things (things? Come on), but one piece in particular caught my eye–a childhood poem written by Wallace, presumably for a grade-school class.

    The folks at the Ransom Center were kind enough to let us print the piece here on our blog:

    My Mother Works So Hard Poem

    (Early childhood poem by David Foster Wallace. Used by permission of the David Foster Wallace Literary Trust. Image courtesy of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin.)

    “My mother works so hard so hard and for bread. She needs some lard. She bakes the bread. And makes the bed. And when she’s threw she feels she’s dayd.”

    Pretty powerful stuff. On the whole, I prefer to let you, our devoted readers, draw your own conclusions–and share them below, of course–but I will take this opportunity to point out a few tidbits which I hope you’ll find as interesting as I do. read more