The Not-So-Nervous Novice

I was a science student throughout my childhood. Hardly did I learn in school beyond the grammatical basics of English, so it never occurred to me that a metre could mean more than 100 cm. Save for a couple of songs written in teenage years, poetry didn’t cross my adult’s mind until one sleepless night in 2015 when I penned Verse of a Sleepless Father. It was only then I realised the vitality in my poetic voice and the necessity to harness it. Like an uncorked bottle, the flow of creativity spurted out irresistibly since, initially primitive and as unsettled as the froth of fresh champagne, but gradually cascading down into definitive pieces such as Have You and I Not Learned Enough and Goldfish. I named this first body of works my Juvenilia and decided that I needed my own space to hear and to be heard.

It’s hard to believe only four months has passed since the birth of this blog. Thanks to the support of my wife, my confidants and the wonderful community of dVerse, in a flash, I have now 29 new poems under my belt. While some are experimental pieces and pettier scribbles, a few others are nevertheless earnest gems that I cherish with paramount pleasure and pride. In spite of not sharing a consistent voice or theme, they’re all organically connected to testify my recent growth as a young poet reaching out to the big, wide world, yearning for acceptance as a nervous Débutante – thus the name of the collection The Nervous Novice.

In this fruitful season, I’ve been privileged to read and learn from the great poets in dVerse and to arrive at a most humbling epiphany: I’m not the product of my own doing but that of the blessings from many. This allowed my confidence to take root, untethering my conscious from the fidgeting with devices, forms and flowery language as a débutante would with her dress. Thus I began to go through my mental list of poems-to-write with gusto: What Are You, O Little One?, In Love With Fantasies, A Call to My Siblings, The Poplar ShadeHarmatiaPoiesis, Crowd Control and The Tale of a Pearl.

Well, today seems a jolly good day to wrap up the first half of the year in a celebratory spirit by congratulating myself, with a grin on face and a heartful of gratitude, “There you have it now, Colin. Some nerve.”

Thank you, all. 🙂


Colin Lee


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13 thoughts on “The Not-So-Nervous Novice

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    1. Thank you, Jane, for your tips, encouragement and inspiration. Always a novice, perhaps with growing nerve, and always much to learn!

      To rough seas ahead, where storm awaits and undercurrent lurks, sailing will never be “plain”. But I will keep sailing.


    1. Thanks, Jeren. Proudly a novice I am. Appreciate the compliment. Poetry somewhat runs in the family. My paternal grandmother was a Chinese teacher before the Cultural “Ruination” and a few of my uncles occasionally exchange poems (in Chinese, of course). As a kid, I watched my Dad write a new antithetical couplet every Chinese New Year. So, there’s been a bit of observing and learning here and there over the years, albeit in Chinese. As I said, I’m the product of many people’s blessings. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Imelda. Likewise, may you find many inspirations in your new hobby (photography) and be awed by the beauty of nature every day. And thanks to you I found dVerse in the first place!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Using that metaphorical champagne, a toast:
    May your words be as images painted upon your heart and upon the lives of all who are blessed to share your joy in writing, and may your gifts be handed down to your children and through generations to follow them.
    Cheers! Jilly

    Liked by 1 person

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