Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Sisters and cousins

My grandmother, Marjory Ann Carr (Hopper) is on the middle left with her sister, Lillian on the far left. Lillian had a disastrous romance and never married. She lived with her sister's family all her life. My father hinted that this was not an unmixed blessing since she had a sour attitude toward men and he and his older brother were growing up to be such.
The other two girls are cousins. The picture was probably taken in Arkansas where they spent all their early lives. The deckled edge is from a copy made later; the original one was glued onto a thin board. I have been looking through old pictures tonight; this has long been one of my favorites.

Did you know Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) wrote poetry? 

Here is the first part of a longer poem that he wrote at age 17. The longer version can be found in the Library of America's American Poetry; the Nineteenth Century, 1993.


My childhood's home I see again
   And sadden with the view;
And still as mem'ry crowds my brain
    There's pleasure in it, too.

O memory! thou midway world
   ’Twixt earth and paradise,
Where things decayed and loved ones lost
   In dreamy shadows rise,

And, freed from all that’s earthly, vile,
   Seem hallowed, pure and bright,
Like scenes in some enchanted isle
   All bathed in liquid light.

As dusky mountains please the eye
   When twilight chases day;
As bugle notes that, passing by,
   In distance die away;

As leaving some grand waterfall,
   We, lingering, list its roar --
So memory will hallow all
   We’ve known but know no more.

Near twenty years have passed away
   Since here I bid farewell
To woods and fields, and scenes of play,
   And playmates loved so well.

The friends I left that parting day
   How changed, as time has sped!
Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray;
   And half of all are dead.

I hear the loved survivors tell
   How nought from death could save,
Till every sound appears a knell
   And every spot a grave.

I range the fields with pensive tread,
And pace the hollow rooms,
And feel (companion of the dead)
I’m living in the tombs.

Abraham Lincoln
from Poet's Choice; Poems for Everyday Life; selected and introduced by Robert Hass, Ecco, 1998, pages 56-57.

Nicely done, Abraham, four line stanzas, alternating four and three-beat lines and rhyming abab. This is the way things used to be done and some people still miss it!

No comments:

Post a Comment