Saturday, May 29, 2010

rhythm and rhyme

I must have been in grade two the year my parents purchased the World Book Encyclopedia and Childcraft Set. It was like suddenly having an entire library in our house. Blue River had no town library, and the two room schoolhouse didn't either, so the arrival of the Encyclopedia was big news. The spines of the Childcraft Set were each a color of the rainbow and I loved arranging them in order. My very favorite was Poems and Stories. I hadn't realized until tonight, that the words of many of the poems are somehow there, at the edge of memory, needing only a gentle nudge to get me started. I remember reading and rereading them, not just for myself, but for my best friend, the little boy next door. When I read about Skinny Mrs. Snipkin sitting on her pipkin, he would laugh and laugh, and when I read about the pirate Don Durk of Dowdee we would both collapse in giggles. He reminded us of my Aunt Jean. (Sorry Aunt Jean) I'm sure it was the silk blouse with the great puffy sleeves that he wore.
I've begun to share the poems with my grandson. The Three Little Kittens is his current favorite. He loves to hear me read it with plenty of meows, and there must be a mother cat voice that switches just at the right moment into a little kitten voice. I'm not sure why this one is his favorite. What?Lost your mittens! I suppose a three year old can relate to loss and consequence, effort and reward. Or maybe like me, he just loves the rhythm and magic of words.

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