Like many of my generation (I will be 240 on March 33rd) a particular anthology sparked my interest: "Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle" (weird title!), ed. by Stephen Dunning. There I think I read ee cummings' "In Just- Spring" (from his Chansons Innocentes). "and the little lame BalloonMan whistles far and wee"
fresh air! tres charmante.
& I had to memorize & recite "Charge of the Light Brigade" for Mr. Close in 6th grade.
& my grandfather chanting his jokey Irish folk song. & my mother's improvisations: the adventures of Frisbee, the little Tomb Thumb chap who sailed his paper boat down the stream in the dirt road outside our house (Arthur St). Springtime in Mendelssohn (a section of Hopkins, MN settled by farmers & young musicians from Minneapolis).
& reading the complete Nabokov while still in the womb (a few months before March 33rd, 1753, that is.)