Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's In A Poem? Oh, Everything

I was having lunch with my daughter on Saturday when and I asked about her literature course she was taking. She said it was all right. She mentioned Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I told her I know some of his poems. I began to recite "The Building Of A Ship." I started off wrong and began again. Soon I was sailing and finished without too much trouble. I told her I knew "The Arrow and the Song" also by Longfellow. They do that one on the Disney Channel and show various cartoons from their storehouse of films and shorts. I am very impressed with the results. Oh, if my little grandson, Ty, could only grasp how wonderful it all is.

When I was in seventh grade, we were required to speak poems. We could chose what we wanted. I find that I can say a few of them even now. I'm so glad the teachers made us do that. How else would I have this love in my heart for poetry?

Last spring, when I took my Ty to the park, as I pushed him in the swing, I recited "The Swing" by Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Cupboard" and "Someone" by Walter de la Mare. I also love "I'm Hiding" by Dorothy Aldis. These poems are from a very old Little Golden Book from my childhood. It is falling apart. The selections are excellent and I love the Victorian drawings.

Perhaps with all of the important computer work kids need in school and all the mounting history and math and everything else they teach, they might find one day a week to learn some poems. All the knowledge they learn can help them in life and increase their opportunities, but poetry feeds the soul and once learned, you have it for life.


  1. I was never that interested in poetry growing up. I always loved to read stories but poetry seemed like work to me. I guess I didn't have a good teacher for it. I have fun with little rhymes and kids poems but that's about it.

    I like limericks though, does that count? :)

  2. I am so amazed that you have committed to memory so many poems! Wonderful! I wish I had!

  3. I have never been good with poems. I'm too rhymey. It definitely takes a talent! :O)

  4. I recall bits and pieces and own a couple of poetry books. After some dismal attempts at writing poetry, I decided prose was more to my liking.

  5. I confess, I'm most impressed with your repertoire of memorized poems! I only memorized one poem, which I do still know. I memorized it because I received a framed version of it from my great grandmother; it's "If" by Rudyard Kipling.