#ClassicPoetry – #HenryWadsworthLongfellow – #TheChildren’sHour

Thought I’d stop by long enough to share another of my favorite poems from days LONG gone by. With family holidays coming up soon, it seemed appropriate, and I hope you can imagine these images and feel this love as deeply as I always have. Enjoy!


The Children’s Hour

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – 1807-1882

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator. His original works include Paul Revere’s Ride, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was the first American to completely translate Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and was one of the Fireside Poets from New England.

Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, which was then still part of Massachusetts. He graduated from Bowdoin College and became a professor there and, later, at Harvard College after studying in Europe. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841). He retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, and he lived the remainder of his life in the Revolutionary War headquarters of George Washington in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Longfellow died in 1882.

Longfellow wrote many lyric poems known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and had success overseas.


And there you have another beloved poem from the Days of Yore!
Hope you enjoyed it!

#ClassicPoetry – #EmilyDickinson – #ANarrowFellow

 

Another bit of classic poetry for your consideration. I’ve always loved Emily Dickinson’s poetry, and while my choice today might seem like an odd one, if you consider how much I love wildlife–even creatures that many folks do not care for–perhaps you’ll understand why I decided this was the first of her works I wanted to share.  Hope you’ll enjoy it, even if only because she managed to create a beautiful poem about a somewhat unpopular animal.


A Narrow Fellow in the Grass
BY EMILY DICKINSON

A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides –
You may have met him? Did you not
His notice instant is –

The Grass divides as with a Comb,
A spotted Shaft is seen,
And then it closes at your Feet
And opens further on –

He likes a Boggy Acre – 
A Floor too cool for Corn –
But when a Boy and Barefoot
I more than once at Noon

Have passed I thought a Whip Lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled And was gone –

Several of Nature’s People
I know, and they know me
I feel for them a transport
Of Cordiality

But never met this Fellow
Attended or alone
Without a tighter Breathing
And Zero at the Bone.


Poet Emily Dickinson
“The Belle of Amherst”

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Little-known during her life, she has since been regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry.

Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, into a prominent family with strong ties to its community. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she briefly attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family’s home in Amherst.

Evidence suggests that Dickinson lived much of her life in isolation. Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a penchant for white clothing and was known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence.

While Dickinson was a prolific writer, her only publications during her lifetime were 10 of her nearly 1,800 poems, and one letter. The poems published then were usually edited significantly to fit conventional poetic rules. Her poems were unique for her era. They contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends, and also explore aesthetics, society, nature, and spirituality.


And there you have today’s poem from the Days of Yore!
Hope you enjoyed it!

#ClassicPoetry – #LittleOrphantAnnie – #JamesWhitcombRiley – #Halloween

Thought I’d share one more “classic” poem by Indiana’s Poet Laureate, James Whitcomb Riley. Halloween is coming up next week, and this was always one of my favorite “spooky” poems.  Next time around, we’ll be taking a look at a completely different poet and her work, but for now, this feels more appropriate. Enjoy!


Little Orphant Annie

James Whitcomb Riley – 1849-1916

Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ bresh the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
             Ef you
                Don’t
                   Watch
                      Out!

Onc’t they was a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,—
So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wasn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an’ roundabout–
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
             Ef you
                Don’t
                   Watch
                      Out!

An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’one, an’ all her blood an’ kin;
An’ onc’t, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks was there,
She mocked ‘em an’ shocked ‘em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
             Ef you
                Don’t
                   Watch
                      Out!

An’ little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–
You better mind yer parents, an’ yer teachers fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns’ll git you
             Ef you
                Don’t
                   Watch
                      Out!


Happy Halloween Next Week, Everybody!
(And be sure not to let the Gobble-uns get you!)

#ClassicPoetry – #JamesWhitcombRiley – #FrostyPumpkins – #HappyFall

I know we have a lot of poets and poetry lovers in our writing community, and I really enjoy all the new and unusual forms. I do, however, still have a great fondness for the poetry I enjoyed years ago, many from days long gone by, even then. With that in mind, I decided to start sharing some of my favorite poems from those days of yore now and then. Hope you’ll enjoy some of these as much as I do.

In honor of the official arrival of fall, here’s one I’ve always loved. Keep in mind that Riley generally wrote his works in dialect, which many, including me, consider part of the charm. It might take some getting used to, but I think you’ll find he’s captured the spirit of autumn very, very well. 

When the Frost is on the Punkin
BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY (1849 – 1916)

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! …
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me
I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!


James Whitcomb Riley (October 7, 1849 – July 22, 1916) was an American writer, poet, and best-selling author. During his lifetime he was known as the “Hoosier Poet” and “Children’s Poet” for his dialect works and his children’s poetry. His poems tend to be humorous or sentimental. Of the approximately 1,000 poems Riley wrote, the majority are in dialect. His famous works include Little Orphant Annie and The Raggedy Man“.


Hope you enjoyed this one, and that it brought a touch of autumn to remembrances of times gone by! I’ll be sharing another by Riley in two weeks, and then will move on to many other poets I’ve loved over the years.

But for now, HAPPY FALL Y’ALL!