Summer, 1924: Whimsical Children’s Poems

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The book that I referenced for Father’s Day, 2014, included a poem

about an inquisitive boy who became a father. The gist of the poem

was about curiosity and the wonders of the child, who grew up into

his role of Father.

This book that I love to look at, has a deep azure blue cover, with gold

lettering and pictures, engraved on the binding and above the title of

the book. I wrote about these details before. . . so I will introduce once

again, a ‘found’ book from the discarded pile of the library.

The book’s title is, “Fancy’s Hour,” written by Norman C. Schlichter,

published in 1924.

 

I have never told you about the Dedication Page, which I feel is so

charming:

 

“TO ALL CHILDREN

Sure Guides

in

The Kingdom of Fancy”

 

Here are two late Summer poems to rejoice and enjoy childhood memories.

The first one is about another name for “Pinwheels.”

 

“Whirligigs

 

Whirligigs, whirligigs,

Turning in the sun,

Light of foot, happy-eyed

After you, we run.

 

Whirligigs, whirligigs,

Laughing in the wind,

Tight we hold the little sticks

Unto which you’re pinned.

 

Whirligigs, whirligigs,

We and you are one.

All you have to do is turn,

We need only run.”

 

This reminded me of how when little toddlers have colorful

pull toys, like that one that ‘popped’ little balls up into a clear

ball, those ducks with rubber feet that flapped, ‘slap, ‘slap’

upon the sidewalk, and the joy of sparklers, too! I think that

as adults we forget how we liked to hear repetitive verses.

That sing song sound of words, makes it wonderful to chant!

 

“Song for Sleep Ears

 

Where runs the river,

Where rolls the sea,

There go the lovely boats

In which I’d like to be.

 

Some with gentle winds are sailing

Some with storms are rocking,

Some in bays are lying still,

Like an idle stocking.

 

Some with masts, and some with none;

Empty, full they’re going

Where the sea waves roll and toss,

Where are rivers flowing.

 

Cozy beds in every boat

For little ones like me;

Light I’d sleep upon the river,

Deep upon the sea.”

 

After a busy day of running around, finally children lie down to hear books,

stories of poems like this one. I used to read, “Wynken, Blynken and Nod”

to my children. I also enjoyed, “The Owl and the Pussycat,” to relax them,

telling them to close their eyes and listen to the rhythm of the words.

I enjoyed, last of all, this reminder of boats. I liked to sing the bedtime

song, “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.”

It takes a special kind of author to create and choose to write poetry for

specifically children in mind. It is a challenge and requires a unique ‘ear’

and talent for what would capture their minds with magical words.

Little ones enjoy the words, as they sink into their pillows into dream land.

 

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25 responses »

  1. it takes a special author indeed, robin. i love these poems and especially love love the dedication. what a great find and thank you so much for sharif this with us )

    • Oh, thanks so much for this sweet tie-in story! I think I would also have thought, “My Bonnie” was talking about my cousin! So nice of you to mention this to us!

  2. Pingback: Summer, 1924: Whimsical Children's Poems

    • I apologize for not getting back to you. I am so honored that you loved this book featured in this post. I also am so glad the poems ‘melted your heart.’ You had a fun comment you made, too, that I missed. I am so grateful for your kindnesses, Marie!

      • No worries at all. Last week a bunch of my follower comments were in SPAM! I felt terrible. This blogging world can get quite complicated and fishy to find. :0) Thanks again for sharing your book. ~Marie

    • This is truly embarrassing I did not check back on this post, except just today. I am so excited to see you wanting to say, “whirligig!” I am really happy, to know this made you enjoy the post. I liked that word, too! It is kind of like the first time I heard the word, “calliope!” I liked it so much more than “merry-go-round!” Thanks, belatedly, Colleen for this comment! Hugs, Robin

  3. You know I am a big time proponent of reading to young people, which I regularly do via Skype with my 7 y.o. grandson. I have not read much poetry to him as he is into action stories. I should probably try something more relaxing occasionally at bedtime. I always appreciate your suggestions from the perspective of a teacher as well as a grandma. – Mike

    • Glad to send you off into the area of poetry. He will surely hear some good ones at school, usually even the librarian. I like Shel Silverstein’s, “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” But, action stories are so much fun for you and your grandson to share, which is in person NOW! Smiles, Robin

  4. Of the old classics, I loved “The Owl and the Pussycat,” but also “The Duel” about the gingham dog and the calico cat. My favorite of the old children’s poems was “A Fairy Went a Marketing” by Rose Fyleman. Gosh, there are so many!

    • I am so honored at your answers, your time that you spent answering this. I am belatedly glancing through my posts, happily (thinking that I had answered ALL the comments!) Then, to my dismay I had missed several of these thoughtful comments, including yours! Thanks for the one called, “The Duel” and also, “A Fairy Went a Marketing,” which may be in my Big Golden Book of Poetry, Luanne!

  5. The 20’s were truly a great time for books. There were so many written then- some absolutely wonderful, some absolutely “horrible.” If you love melodramatic stories, it was a great time for it…and the time preceding, quite frankly. Great book picks for the 20’s: adventure/travel, children’s books, and romance.

    • I liked the Grimm’s and Andersen’s fairy tale books, along with the poetry, this was a ‘fluke’ a ‘catch’ for me to find this lovely book, which has had a few fun posts out of it! Thanks for mentioning that some were absolutely horrible! I admit that I am not very picky about what I pick up to read, but hope that I would recognize a horrible book! I did not think of the melodramatic style, that is interesting that you reminded me of this. I tend to like the movies that have the old film ‘noir’ style. Adventure and travel would be quite different in the 20’s, too. I apologize for this belated response to your well-thought out comments, T.L.K. man!

  6. Ahhhhh the poppers! They used to drive me nuts (after 20 minutes of non-stop POPPING) but reading this made me laugh. And yes it would take a special ear to write children’s poetry. Thanks for sharing, Robin. xo

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