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Filtering by Tag: American poetry

Happy Groundhog's Day!

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

In 1921 Robert Frost published his poem "A Drumlin Woodchuck."  

A Drumlin Woodchuck

 

One thing has a shelving bank,

Another a rotting plank,

To give it cosier skies

And make up for its lack of size.  

 

My own strategic retreat

Is where two rocks meet,

And still more secure and snug,

A two-door burrow I dug.

 

With those in mind at my back

I can sit forth exposed to attack

As one who shrewdly pretends

That he and the world are friends.

 

All we who prefer to live,

Have a little whistle to give,

And flash, at the least alarm

We dive down under the farm.

 

We allow some time for guile

And don't come out for a while 

Either to eat or drink

We take occasion to think.

 

And if after the hunt goes past

And the double-barreled blast

(Like war and pestilence

And the loss of common sense),

 

If I can with confidence say

That still for another day,

Or even another year,

I will be there for you, my dear,

 

t will be because though small

As measured against All,

I have been so instinctively thorough

About my crevice and burrow.

 

Robert Frost  1874 - 1963

 

 

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Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

April is National Poetry Month and April 18th is Poem in Your Pocket Day.  It's a day to carry a poem with you and share it with friends, family, classmates, and co-workers.  Here's my pick for 2013.

DESIGN

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,

On a white heal-all, holding up a moth

Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth --

Assorted characters of death and blight

Mixed ready to begin the morning right,

Like the ingredients of a witches' broth --

A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,

And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,

The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?

What brought the kindred spider to that height,

Then steered the white moth thither in the night ?

What but design of darkness to appall? --

If design governs in a thing so small.

Robert Frost   1874 - 1963

An American Silversmith

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

Paul Revere was the third child of Apollos Rivoire and his wife Deborah Hitchborn.  The French-born and Huguenot Rivoire anglicized his surname to Revere.  Paul was apprenticed in the family silversmithing business at a very young age.

Paul Revere is most widely remembered for his midnight ride warning the American colonists of advancing British troops before the battles of Lexington and Concord.  We commemorate that day tomorrow - the eighteenth of April.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem contains numerous inaccuracies but we all learned it as school children.  Here are stanzas 1 and 2 from Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn, The Landlord's Tale: Paul Revere's Ride

"Listen, my children and you shall hear,

  Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

  On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five,

  Hardly a man is now alive

  Who remembers that famous day and year.

  One if by land, and two if by sea,

  And I on the opposite shore shall be,

  Ready to ride and spread the alarm

  Through every Middlesex village and farm."

Paul Revere went on to further service in the American Revolution.  He was involved in the ill-fated Penobscot Expedition of 1779: at that time Maine was considered to be part of Massachusetts.

After the war Paul Revere expanded his prosperous metalworking business to include cast iron and the use of rolling mills in the production of sheets of copper.  His workshop also manufactured cannons and church bells.  Revere remained politically active up until his death in 1818.

John Singleton Copley painted a portrait of Paul Revere in the years before the American Revolution.  He often painted his subjects with an artifact from their life.  In this case Paul Revere is holding a teapot.  Tea was a hot-button issue in the colonies at this time and Revere seems to be giving serious consideration to the work of his craftsmanship.

Paul Revere    Oil on canvas by John Singleton Copley, painted 1768 - 1770

Paul Revere  

Oil on canvas by John Singleton Copley, painted 1768 - 1770