Friday, November 2, 2007

Poetry Friday: An Acorn Nut Poem

Many of my blog's hits come from people searching for acorn+nut+poem. Yes, a surprising number of people are out there in search of a good poem about the lowly acorn.

I always feel kind of bad, knowing they didn't actually find what they were looking for here. So I decided for this week's Poetry Friday to find an Acorn Nut Poem to make their visit to my site worthwhile.

Step One: Google acorn+nut+poem. (Hey, I'm the first one to come up! No wonder I get those hits!)

Step Two: Find a site that actually has an acorn nut poem.

Step Three: Squeeeeee! for joy over my discovery. OMG, it's the coolest thing ever: First Lessons in English by F.B. Greene, published in 1888. I urge you, after reading this post, to follow that link to check out this delightful 19th century primer.

The poem itself appears on page 56:

LESSON XXIX
A POEM

The squirrel hastens to and fro
With acorn, nut, and corn.
His hall to fill; he's much to do,
For winter's coming on.
He does not stop for friends or foes
Until his work is done;
He needs no telling: well he knows
Cold winter's coming on.
His storehouse filled with all that's good
His eyes look proudly on;
Then chatters he throughout the wood,
"Now let cold winter come."
Come, children; like the squirrel try,
In life's bright, sunny morn,
To seek a good, a wise supply,
Before old age comes.

Many thanks to Mentor Texts for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

4 comments:

Danette Haworth said...

Linda,

What a charitable blogger your are to provide what the acorn people need. I'll have to check out that primer. I bought some old cookbooks (1950s) and the narrative is very telling.

LindaBudz said...

Aw, shucks. Just trying to do a little something to make the blogosphere a better place. :)

Actually, there was one sentence I noticed in there where they used the word "negroes," which I realize would be considered offensive now, so a heads up on that. But it's interesting to me to think about language and how it reflects the mindset of the time.

SamRiddleburger said...

Just think how many school children were forever turned off of poetry by that poem!

"Come, children; like the squirrel try,"

I wonder if Fitzgerald and Hemingway were raised on this book in the early 1900s?

LindaBudz said...

The first rule of kid lit: Teach a moral. If at all possible, spell it out explicitly. Do NOT rely on the children's limited imagination to pick up on mere examples ... i.e., tell, don't just show.

This is all doubly appealing if the lesson has to do with something that will be of no immediate benefit but will bear fruit in old age.