Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Roses Are Red....

I've talked before about my posse of high school friends who have continued to hang out through the decades until we've reached the point where we're looking at the "old" classes at our hometown reunion weekend and saying "Wait...what is our class doing in that group?"

All four of us are now either semi- or totally retired (and, as one of the semi- group, I might argue that the difference between these two states is approximately the difference between store brand semisweet chocolate chips and Ghiradelli 60% Dark Chocolate, but I digress) so we're thinking about how to keep our minds engaged and useful for the next three decades.

Okay, so everyone else is trying to keep their minds engaged. I'm just trying to get the Starz app to play on our Smart TV so I can see what Claire's wearing on Outlander, but I was intrigued when friend K. wrote this week that she's decided to start memorizing poetry again.

"One of my plans is to review some of my 'old' memorized poems and freshen up the memory. I've long thought that having a poem to recite (for others or in my head) is a nice diversion when having to wait in line, or pass an otherwise boring period of time."

You know how experts say you should hang around with people who are what you aspire to be? This is what I'm talking about. For decades, most poetry I've read with joy was written by Shel Silverstein, and the only poem I recited with any regularity was the one in today's GIF that was shrieked at the top of my lungs for two decades during Boy-rearing. (On a somewhat related note, we're starting our bathroom remodel this week.)

Inspired by my friend (who can still recite "The Highwayman,") I delved into my memory for poems that might be freshened up. Back in the day, grade school kids memorized a fair amount of poetry, and I could still holler out "'Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, but spare your country's flag,' she said!" Ah, Barbara Fritchie, how I loved your service in the Revolutionary War. I also heard drumbeats in the back of my mind as I intoned the first lines of "Hiawatha": "By the shores of Gitchee Gumee, by the shining Deep-Sea-Waters, stands the wigwam of Nokomis, Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis."

Oh, these would be perfect to refresh! But wait...

Google informed me that Barbara Fritchie was yelling at Stonewall Jackson, so clearly she was not old during the Revolutionary War. Also, Nokomis did not figure in the first stanza of Hiawatha.

Apparently my entire childhood was a lie, and I'm now trying to jog my mental picture of these two classic poems into reality.

The only poetic reality that still rings true is from my adulthood, and I can shriek it at the top of my lungs:


(I may have composed that last phrase myself.)

No comments:

Post a Comment