We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, November 30. 2019
The Village Blacksmith
UNDER a spreading chestnut tree
His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
Week in, week out, from morn till night,
And children coming home from school
He goes on Sunday to the church,
It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
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Excellent choice, BD. One of my favorites for many years. Thanks.
Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing,
so I my life conduct.
Each morning see some task begun,
each evening see it chucked.
We had to memorize this in grammar school in the 40's.
It had a huge impact and I can still remember some of the lines 75 years later.
Thank you for printing it.
Reminds me of 10th grade English. I seriously considered dropping out of school because of this crap. My 10th grade English teacher was a pretentious jerk. I barely passed and only because feigned interest. I am not sure a poet has ever done anything of value in this world.
Yeah that was kinda grouchy. Just the way I remembered it. I was impatient to live life and school was a major obstacle. I still to this day believe that more than half of the time our kids spend in school is a waste of time. I guess it is only some/most poetry I dislike. I have read Beowulf and Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and liked them both but they seem more like a book than poetry. I think I need to turn over a new leaf and stop being so negative.
Can't resist a couple of comments.
1) We had to memorize this poem and a few others in 7th grade. My best friend and I always recited it as
...And the muscles of his scrawny arms
Are strong as rubber bands.
Lame, but it still cracked us up.
2) Yeah, OneGuy, gotta agree with you that "I am not sure a poet has ever done anything of value in this world." Lemme see:
Ecclesiastes - a vanity project.
Petrarch? Some Italian poet from the 13th century.
At least Milton wrote Aeropostale or something.
Yeats? what a sap! Kind of inconsequential in Irish History.
Yes, but all that's ancient history. Calling Vaclev Havel...
I was thinking more along the lines of Dr. Jonas Salk, Henry Ford, Nikola Tesla, Madam Curie, Surgeon Christiaan Barnard. People who actually created something useful
I would classify the creation of western civilization as the basis for most of what we find useful.
I would agree. I think though that you believe that poets and writers did it and they did not. Doers created our Western civilization while poets and writers were sitting in their parents basements.
One guy, how insensitive of you! If you were woke, you would recognize that all of life is poetry. Poetry is how the world is distilled into delicate pearls of wisdom. But you are a philistine, so giving you a poem is like casting pearls before swine.
A young schizophrenic named Struther
When told of the death of his brother
Said "Yes, it's too bad,
But I can't feel too sad -
After all, we still have each other."
" I am not sure a poet has ever done anything of value in this world." (OneGuy)
Fortunately I have a long experience of evidence to the contrary. But "it takes all kinds".
Basing your opinion on obviously limited exposure to true poetry, you are not really qualified to judge.
I do indeed have a limited exposure to poetry. I can recite a few limericks but they would get me banned. To me poetry is like music. You probably don't like all music but you probably really like some music. To me music is just something I sometimes hear in the background like when my wife is driving she puts on a music station. I pretty much don't care as long as it isn't too loud. But there are people who feel like music is the most important thing in the world. I don't get it any more then I get poetry. Music probably never saved a life or defeated evil, ditto for poetry. They are diversions from life. My diversion of choice is to travel. I would imagine that there are people who don't like travel in much the same way I don't like poetry (or more correctly don't like poetry for poetry's sake). But in the example I was offering I pointedly expressed that I thought it was a mistake to force poetry on students. I still feel that way.
There is poetry, and there is verse. I would classify Longfellow as verse (kind of bouncy and sentimental).
Here is a website on which over 21k "voters" have ranked poets. "Who are the best poets of all time?" Apparently the ranking keeps changing as people continue to vote. At the top is (justifiably) Shakespeare. There are a few others I would not want to "live without". https://www.ranker.com/list/best-poets/ranker-books
"What oft was thought but ne'er so well express'd" --this line by Pope was not meant to refer to poetry, but I think it is apt.
“True Wit is Nature to advantage dress'd
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd;
Something whose truth convinced at sight we find,
That gives us back the image of our mind."
How unfortunate for me that I'm the only one ignorant, ill educated, and hick enough that my immediate association with this poem is The Statler Brothers in the guise of Lester "Roadhog" Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys.