I agreed to read
a poem for a visiting poet this Wednesday night. Randolph Writers is sponsoring this poet and they asked me to read something I wrote myself or a published poet. I am not a poet myself and not a real big fan of poetry. Mostly I seem to like children’s poetry the best. I used to buy poetry books for the girls and read as much for myself as I did the kids. I will say the older I get the more I find that I like. I do remember The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow fondly from high school:
Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate’er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter’s voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother’s voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his haul, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.
And of course The Man from Snowy River:
I’m not reading either of those poems but one called September by Helen Hunt Jackson-(1830-1885). I thought it proper for this time of year:
- HE golden-rod is yellow;
- The corn is turning brown;
- The trees in apple orchards
- With fruit are bending down.
- The gentian’s bluest fringes
- Are curling in the sun;
- In dusty pods the milkweed
- Its hidden silk has spun.
- The sedges flaunt their harvest,
- In every meadow nook;
- And asters by the brook-side
- Make asters in the brook.
- From dewy lanes at morning
- The grapes’ sweet odors rise;
- At noon the roads all flutter
- With yellow butterflies.
- By all these lovely tokens
- September days are here,
- With summer’s best of weather,
- And autumn’s best of cheer.
- But none of all this beauty
- Which floods the earth and air
- Is unto me the secret
- Which makes September fair.
- ‘T is a thing which I remember;
- To name it thrills me yet:
- One day of one September
- I never can forget.
I don’t know who the poet is but I suppose I will find out Wednesday night. I practiced out loud today and plan to every day til Wednesday. Paul has informed me I need to put more feeling into it. I’ll try. Mostly I’m worried I’ll have an anxiety attack and keel over from lack of air. Let’s all cross our fingers that doesn’t happen.