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One of the things I remember fondly are the poems we were required to read and memorize in school. I remember we were required to recite them from memory in front of the class. I could memorize a poem rather quickly, and thus Miss Hudson would let those of us who might, give our recitation the same day of the assignment. Now some poems might be 4-5 paragraphs long in which we might be required to recite maybe two.
One of my very favorite poems was The Village Smithy. It is about 4 stanzas long. As I remember we did not memorize all 4. I loved everything about the poem except it was too long, and I did not know what a chestnut tree looked like. I would like to encourage you to bring the poem up on your cell phone and reacquaint yourself with this masterpiece of literature. I think you will agree that somewhere along the way we have lost our appreciation for class, charm, and art.
Then, while I am recommending things to read, check out the great work of Stephen Ambrose – Undaunted Courage. It is in my estimation one of the greatest books ever written. It is a detailed account of the Lewis and Clark cord of discovery of the Louisiana Purchase. Hopefully, you will agree with me that the success of the expedition hinged on the help, service, and advice of a 16-year-old Native American girl (carrying a 1-year-old baby) named Sacagawea.
I don’t know about you, but I missed not seeing the movie A Christmas Carol.
I just cannot forget the fun we had as kids in the 30s and 40s listening to the radio programs. Jack Armstrong, Little Orphan Annie, Captain Midnight, and I Love A Mystery. They were all sponsored by Breakfast food, or Ovaltine and such. Gosh, they were always offering things for us kids for a dime and two box tops. The fun and joy we had watching and anticipating these items to arrive in the mailbox. What has become of the little joys of life?
Getting back to poems, are kids required to memorize poems today? If not, why not? I am concerned that we have drifted too far into the cyber gadget world. We are becoming a society unable to use our own sense of thought and reason. I grew up in the depression years. I am all too afraid we are likely going to see something much worse.
One of the things that I am most proud of is that my kids all grow big gardens.
Did you ever write a poem? Give it a try.
Contributed by Bill Lewis