Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I mentioned last week I've been feeling particularly uninspired this fall when it comes to poetry.  I even checked out a poetry book from the library last night - but I didn't particularly like his poems.  Rather depressing.

This morning, I read Wynken, Blynken and Nod to my younger two children in school.  I decided to glance at the other poems we have read and found Twins.

This poem made the three of us laugh when we read it.  When I glanced at it again this morning, I was reminded of my friend Beth, whose Wonder Twins have just turned four.

My grandmother was a twin, I have twin boy cousins, and I lived in constant fear with each of my pregnancies that I would have twins.   A few months ago, my friend Dawn and I were sitting at her kitchen table, discussing her newly-discovered pregnancy.

"I'm afraid I'll have twins," she told me.

"Don't worry," I said.  "I had that fear as well.  I'm sure it'll just be one baby in there."

I spoke too soon.  Way too soon.  Dawn and her husband are not only expecting twins, but they found out last week, they're expecting twin boys.

I think they should name one of them John.  Don't you?

Henry S. Leigh

In form and feature, face and limb,
I grew so like my brother,
That folks got taking me for him,
And each for one another.
It puzzled all our kith and kin,
It reached an awful pitch;
For one of us was born a twin,
Yet not a soul knew which.

One day (to make the matter worse),
Before our names were fixed,
As we were being washed by the nurse
We got completely mixed;
And thus, you see, by Fate's decree,
(Or rather, nurse's whim),
My brother John got christened me,
And I got christened him.

The fatal likeness even dogged
My footsteps when at school,
And I was always getting flogged,
For John turned out a fool.
I put this question hopelessly
To every one I knew -
What would you do, if you were me,
To prove that you were you?

Our close resemblance turned the tide
Of my domestic life;
For somehow my intended bride
Became my brother's wife,
In short, year after year the same
Absurd mistakes went on;
And when I died - the neighbors came
And buried brother John!

Poetry Wednesday

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Republic

I've been struggling to find poems this fall.  I had a few earlier - in August and September, but since then this well has dried up.

I had been counting on the poetry books from our homeschool curriculum.  Unfortunately, my older two were scheduled to repeat a book (second time for them, third time for me.  I love reading, but that was too much), and my younger two have a rather small poetry book, from which nothing has stood out so far.

One thing we are doing is singing our way through Wee Sing America - a collection of songs tied to our nation's history.

This morning, it struck me:

Songs are poetry put to music!  (Yes, I knew this.  But I was excited to remember it.)

I took a few pictures of my younger two, belting their hearts out, singing this week's song The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  They were singing so well, I also took some video.

They were so amazed and excited to find the song in the old church hymnals I have on the shelf for singing Christmas carols, they pulled them out this week to use instead of the tiny little Wee Sing America songbook.  (I'm not sure they understand that you would find a hymn in a hymnal.  They're of that generation, you know.)

I hope you enjoy their rendition of this Civil War era song.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Julia Ward Howe
(historical note: Howe heard the Union soldiers singing "John Brown's Body," a popular Union song.  The melody stayed with her and during the night she got up and wrote the words of this song.)

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the Lord;
He has trampled out the vintage
Where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loos'd the fateful lightning
Of His terrible swift sword,
His truth is marching on.

(my favorite verse is the last:)
In the beauty of the lillies
Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom
That transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy
Let us die to make men free,*
While God is marching on.

(*newer hymnals say "Let us live to make men free", but it's not historically accurate.)

Poetry Wednesday

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Look at that!

This week has been bee-u-ti-ful! The sun is out, the weather is warmer - it's been lovely.

It almost makes me forget how downright cold it was for the previous three weeks. And how it rained for nearly eight days straight.


But, there's a silver lining to every cloud, isn't there? Last Thursday, when I despaired of ever seeing the sun again, it peaked out from behind the clouds at just the right time.

The weather forecasters had been promising us a change from the dreary days, and then Thursday afternoon it poured and poured. Just before sunset, as I was on my way to Bible study, this is what I saw. Amazingly enough, I even had my camera in the car to capture it.

Beautiful! What a great ending to the dreary days.