Sunday, December 27, 2015

I love corny old poems

Years ago I happened upon an old, raggedy "Best-Loved Poems" book my mom had no doubt picked up at a garage sale.  Pages were gone and it had no cover.  Little notes were written in the margins.  Mother told me to take it if I wanted it, and I perused it every once in awhile.  I think I finally tossed it in the trash during our last move; it seemed as though I hadn't looked through it in quite a while, and besides, you can find any poem you want on the Internet.  

The other day I decided I missed that old book and checked to see if they had a used copy of that book in good shape.  This, after seeing it would cost me $20 if I ordered it from Amazon.  Indeed, there were many like-new copies on Abe books for under $4, including shipping.

Mother loved poems, and many of the her favorites are in this book.  Ones like "If", by Rudyard Kipling:  "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you..."

You probably know that one.  

This morning I was thumbing through my new book and found a couple of poems I don't recall ever reading, both by the same author, Will Carleton.  One's sad, but still made me smile.  The other one made me laugh out loud.  They're long poems, and in some places the rhythm of the lines sort of goes astray; but I thoroughly enjoyed them.  I won't copy and paste them to this entry, but I will give you the links if you'd like to read them.  

"Over the Hill to the Poor House" can be read HERE.  While I was looking online for the words to the poem I learned there was a silent movie made in 1920 based on this poem.  

I was reminded while reading the "poor house" poem that my mom once made some joking remarks when I was small about how we were "headed for the poor house".  I thought she was serious and asked her what it was like in the poor house, and wondered if there were kids there to play with.  I was scared!  I liked living in a house where nobody lived but me and my parents.  

The other poem from the same author, the one that made me laugh out loud and that I read to Cliff once he was out of bed, is "The Doctor's Story".  You'll find it HERE.  

To give you an idea how long ago these were written, Mr. Carleton died in 1912, the year my mother was born.

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