Monday, April 8, 2013

Memory Monday #14

      While still living on the "farm", my sister and I  had to create our own fun...especially on rainy days.  We weren't "blessed" with television so had to rely on our own imaginations.  We were very fortunate to have a  remarkable woman for a mom. Although she herself never had the opportunity to go to college, she was a intelligent, very well read person.  And she instilled in us the love of books; the stretching of the imagination; the creative impulse!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
       Longfellow was one of her favorite poets..she would read his poems to us at a very young age. I was six or seven and remember that one of my favorite poems was "The Wreck of the Hesperus"....

The Captain of the Hesperus and his darling daughter
The poem is really a tragedy, about a captain who takes his little daughter out to sea on his boat...a terrible storm comes up; he lashes her to the helm so she won't be blown away; the boat crashes on rocks....they all...well, you really need to read the poem for yourself!
     We loved playing "The Wreck of...", racing around the house shouting...  "Ho! ho! the breakers roared! " and..."Christ save us all from a death like this, 
On the reef of Norman's Woe! "

Mom would let us turn the dining room into the ship...we would use turned over chairs and blankets and create quite the set for our play...this room was the site for many fantasy settings from other stories and poems that she exposed us to.

     Another favorite of mine was "The Burial of the Minnisink" about the death of an Indian Chief.  Another tragedy, but really cool to act out!!  The Minnisink were a tribe...probably of the Mohawk line and Longfellow was fond of writing about the lore of nature and people of action...sailors, Indians, blacksmiths, etc. 


  1. Love that grandma instilled this in you and you carried it on and instilled the same sense of imagination into your daughters!!

  2. I love Longfellow! You brought back wonderful memories -- we used to pretend we were shipwrecked on Treasure Island or floating down the Mississippi with Huck Finn.