Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Whatcha Readin' Wednesday: a poetry reading

For the past year now, my husband has been working through an anthology of American poetry with Uli as part of her bedtime routine. Poem by poem, night by night. Hundreds of poems.

As a three year old she may have only a limited grasp of the poems' meanings, but surely listening to the rhythm and vocabulary of the great works of American poets has the potential to be more mentally enriching than another round of The Pokey Little Puppy.

The other night Justin shared with me that evening's poem and suggested I post it for a Whatcha Readin':

The Reading Mother

I had a Mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of GĂ©lert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trustily his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings --
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a mother who read to me.

~Strickland Gillilan.

I'm flattered he equates me in some manner to the mother in the poem, since, while I do intend to read to Uli and Ilse each day, I honestly don't always meet that goal. But Justin? He does, indeed. Truly he should get credit as a father who reads to his girls. A poem written for him. He's opening worlds to them with every book they read during the day, for every poem at day's end. They are indeed lucky, my girls. Jewels and gold are nice for some, sure, but my girls have a father who reads to them (reads poetry!), and I wouldn't trade that for a million caskets of loot.


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