Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Pleasantest Thing...

My friend Nancy Franson at Out of My Alleged Mind has been on a journey of poetry appreciation. In her latest post on Tweetspeak, she asked the question: "For those of you who love poetry, how did you come to love it?" Here you go, Nan-girl.



"Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery." --John Keats

I owe my love of poetry to my father, who would read to me almost every night when I was very young, tucking me in with Eugene Field's Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and other poets. He would read slowly and with feeling, savoring every word. Not bad for a guy who had no more than an 8th grade education. Having been placed in a children's home at age 2, and then shipped in and out of foster care, his other parenting skills were less than awesome. Not surprising, really. But man, could he recite a poem. Thanks, dad. Because of you, Robert Louis Stevenson will always have a special place in my heart.

"Oh I do think it's the pleasantest things ever a child can do..." 
-The Swing, R.L.S



*Nope, that's not me in the photo. It's from my vintage pic stash.


16 comments:

Southern Gal said...

I love this story. Isn't it amazing how God orchestrates everything in our lives for our good?

Jodi said...

Southern Gal, yes it is.

JoAnn Hallum said...

this has motivated me to start reading the boys poetry again. We had a solid year of it, and then...I don't know.
Love you Jooji.

Jody Lee Collins said...

Jodi, thanks for sharing your sweet poem memories. I remember that R.L. Stevenson poem, too.

Nancy said...

What a lovely tribute to your dad. Thanks so much for sharing this.

I just linked it over at Tweetspeak.

Amy said...

That is a beautiful tribute, Jodi. Keeps me inspired to keep reading aloud:)

Cheryl said...

Now you've got me wondering if I read enough poetry with my children. I'll have to do something about that.

Lucy said...

My mother loves poetry passionately,with ten children there wasn't much time for her to write but she could have...She has passed this love on to a few of her daughters, my sis is an amazing poet:)I love it too, a lost art today.

Quotidian Life said...

What a sweet story, Jodi. I loved Robert Louis Stevenson as a child too. A Child's Garden of Verse and a Childcraft anthology of poetry were two books my mother purchased, and really, just left laying around. I recall many delightful hours with those books.

Megan Willome said...

This is precious! And I love how it shows that there are many ways to be a good father. Your dad didn't have all of them, but he had this one and used it well. So glad you shared!

Jodi said...

Megan, thank you, and you're right. BTW, I tried to click on your name to visit your blog, but was unable to. If you'd like, I'll visit your site. I just need to know the name.

Deb Colarossi said...

oh. just oh.

Dewena Callis said...

He must have liked the poems himself too. That's a very nice memory.

I never enjoyed poetry until about 10 years ago, and then only because I stopped trying to read it like poetry but as if it were prose, as a story.

Maybe I didn't like it before because we had to memorize so much of it when I was in school--in the dark ages!

Connie Smiley said...

A happy memory, well told. Good to have some of those...

Ceil said...

Hi Jodi! So good to find your blog! What a beautiful poem! I am no good at poetry at all, so it's fun to see it. What a great ode to your father.

We are so fortunate to have such loving families. They help make us who we are!

Fun to meet you today!
Ceil

Leslie said...

My siblings and I grew up with "A Child's Garden of Verses," too. This is such a precious memory.

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