In a bit of premature celebration of my one-year blog anniversary (July 20), we’re inaugurating a new Friday feature here at Questioning. Welcome to Words, Words, Words. We’re going to start each Friday with a few good words from a variety of sources (music lyrics, poems, movies, books, the Internet, and wherever else I find them).
Last night, Nick and I found this poetic gem in an old, old book he pulled off a shelf next to my bed. It’s one in a series of books for children published in the 1920s called Book Trails. Each volume is an anthology with stories, fables, poems, and lovely illustrations centered on a particular theme. These battered, yellowing volumes exude the nostalgic scent of eau de Carnegie Library (my favorite perfume) and contain random scribblings in crayon and pencil by my mother and aunt and perhaps even my own young self. Nick was enchanted with these books, and amazed that they once enchanted his grandmother, too.
I lost my big Geography
As I came home today.
I laid it down, I—can’t—think—where—
I stopped a bit to play.
It was a nice Geography,
The seas were colored in blue;
And there were bright green valleys
With rivers running through.
Australia’s there and Europe too,
And big old Africa;
But best and biggest map of all
Was our America.
And now my shoestring’s in a knot,
My hair is all uncurled;
I only played ten minutes but—
I’ve lost the whole big world!
Helen Coale Crew
Ms. Crew may not have had Shakespeare’s gift for words, words, words, but she captures the challenges and frustrations and perspective of childhood delightfully, don’t you think? I sure felt like I had lost the whole big world a few times!
Now for the give-away.
Share the title of a fondly remembered children’s book or poem from your own childhood in the comments for a random chance to win a $20 (US) gift card to Barnes and Noble. (If you live outside the United States and win, I will send you an electronic gift card for use at B&N dot com.)
For those who usually read the blog in their email, click on the link to the blog directly, scroll to the bottom of this post, and click Comment to enter.
Contest ends at 12:00 Sunday night, July 12, 2009. One entry per person, please.