Back in January, Becky at Farm School posted on Poetry Friday about a special poetry anthology, compiled by Alice Roosevelt Longworth and her brother Theodore (â€Ted Jr.â€) Roosevelt (1887-1944) and published in 1937. She made it sound so special that I had to see if I could find a copy at the library. My library system actually didn’t have The Desk Drawer Anthology, but they ordered it for me from afar (North Harris County College Learning Resource Center).
These are mostly the kinds of poems that one member of my family in particular despises: some sentimental stories and proverbial sentiments, classic poets such as Dickinson, Holmes, Longfellow, and Whitman. The emphasis is on American poems and poets. A radio host back in 1937 announced the anthology on his program and invited people to send in their favorites; they sent in so many favorites that Mr. Roosevelt and his sister had to cull it from 40,000 entries down to a few hundred published poems. Here are a couple that I particularly liked:
City Rain by Lola Mallatt
Behind this mist of whispering soft lace,
This silver silk, so silently let fall,
I think the city wears a dreaming face,
And wishes not to stir or wake at all.
There is no earth tonight–no heavens–nothing
But thin blown rain, and rows of lamps, gold-furred,
And quiet people going up and down
In shining coats, with faces sweetly blurred.
Men by Dorothy E. Reid
I like men.
They stride about,
They reach in their pockets
And pull things out;
They look important,
They rock on their toes,
They lose all their buttons
Off of their clothes;
They throw away pipes,
They find them again.
Men are queer creatures;
I like men.
Poet of the day: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (Go here for a Celebration of Longfellow.)
Poetry activity for today: Find a poem that someone in your family clipped from a magazine or a newspaper and kept. D your grandparents have a favorite poem? Do you have a favorite poem in your wallet or purse or taped to your wall or mirror? If not, you should.