Thursday, October 5, 2017

Poetry Friday - Reading Pleasure

       Poetry Friday is hosted today by Violet Nesdoly at Violet Nesdoly/Poems. No matter the topic, her words always inspire. This time, she has shared a memory of a year ago and a loving ode to autumn's popular crop, the pumpkin. Thanks, Violet, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
A recent discovery of a "tree jack o' lantern"
on a nearby street,
readying for Halloween.
       I'm going away this weekend, across town to stay with my granddaughters, Ingrid and Imogene, while their parents fly off to celebrate their anniversary. That's one of the definitions of grandparents, right, to offer some time to remember that parents are also a couple, not only parents. 
       I know that the grand-girls and I will have a great time. There is a new dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Nature and Science. We might find a playground to play on for a while. The weather is supposed to be warm, with cold not coming until Monday.
       And we'll read. There has been more and more talk recently about the best way to help children become good readers, to love to read. That best way is to read, to allow slow time to read, to read as adults for children to see!  I've pulled out a few books to take, mostly our favorite Halloween books, and a new short chapter book that re-tells some old favorite fairy tales. The girls own lots of books themselves, so we'll revisit some of those too. 
        There are many poems written about children, and a favorite of mine is one read to me long ago by one of my grandfathers. Let us celebrate today's, yesterday's, and tomorrow's Children's Hour! I cannot state that I am "an old mustache," but I will "put (them) down into the dungeon/In the round-tower of my heart."

         The Children's Hour

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight, 
      When the night is beginning to lower, 
Comes a pause in the day's occupations, 
      That is known as the Children's Hour. 

I hear in the chamber above me 
      The patter of little feet, 
The sound of a door that is opened, 
      And voices soft and sweet. 

From my study I see in the lamplight, 
      Descending the broad hall stair, 
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra, 
      And Edith with golden hair. 

A whisper, and then a silence: 
      Yet I know by their merry eyes 
They are plotting and planning together 
      To take me by surprise. 

A sudden rush from the stairway, 
      A sudden raid from the hall! 
By three doors left unguarded 
      They enter my castle wall! 

They climb up into my turret 
      O'er the arms and back of my chair; 
If I try to escape, they surround me; 
      They seem to be everywhere. 

They almost devour me with kisses, 
      Their arms about me entwine, 
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen 
      In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine! 

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti, 
      Because you have scaled the wall, 
Such an old mustache as I am 
      Is not a match for you all! 

I have you fast in my fortress, 
      And will not let you depart, 
But put you down into the dungeon 
      In the round-tower of my heart. 

And there will I keep you forever, 
      Yes, forever and a day, 
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin, 
      And moulder in dust away! 


  1. Oh, does this take me back....what a beautiful poem to celebrate your weekend. Your grandaughters are so very fortunate for the Grandmother, the reading and the time. Enjoy every moment. And, welcome back! I sure did miss you last week. But, I"m happy that you traveled to see your grandson. What a fortunate trip for YOU!

    1. Thanks, Linda. It's been a busy few weeks! I love this poem, too!

  2. Can I say how much I love "blue-eyed banditti"? Thanks for the smile! Have a great weekend with the girls. I look forward to seeing some pics!

    1. Thanks, Diane, it will be fun. We're very excited about this new exhibit!

    2. I love that phrase, too! Charming poem. Thank you for sharing it, Linda! Hope you have a fun time with your wall-scalers!

  3. Oh, beautiful poem. Enjoy the time with your granddaughters. It sounds like lots of fun is in the works.

  4. Oh, this is sweet - he is besieged by his babies, and then he keeps them forever. That's the type of loving attack that kids cherish. Have a lovely weekend with yours.

  5. Wonderful poem -- love that he called himself an old mustache, and I could just picture those blue-eyed banditti crawling all over him. Enjoy the precious time with your granddaughters!

  6. This one brings tears to my eyes--my youngest turned 20 yesterday and I'm feeling nostalgic I guess. Those last two stanzas just put me over the edge.

    1. As you see, there are good times coming in the future, with grandchildren, nieces and nephews perhaps. I know that many are saying goodbyes to their own children growing up. One poem is about a son driving, a son on his way to adulthood. Thanks, Molly, yes, the poem touches my heart, too.

  7. There is something so satisfying in reading a Longfellow poem like this. Enjoy your banditti and your wonderful books this weekend!

    1. Thanks, Violet. He touches places that are universal today as they were long ago.

  8. Oh, Linda, enjoy every precious moment with your grand girls! I've been lucky to be in Portland with Sara and Will the past few days while she attended a medical conference. And we've read books. Jack loves to read the same book over and over and over. And I've enjoyed every smile and giggle and nuzzle! Love these lines from the poem:
    "I have you fast in my fortress...
    In the round-tower of my heart."

  9. Linda, I just love the image of the tree. It is so fascinating and bewitching in an eerie way. Would you like to offer that image for my next gallery along with poems. I am sure your Highlights Workshop will offer much opportunity to reflect and write along with colleagues. As for the poem, I can't wait for my little Sierra to devour me with kisses.

  10. With my boys older and gaining independence, I do quite like to kidnap my two little nieces for some fun interactive little-people time. Enjoy stacking up memories and love, bricking in that fortress.

  11. So sweet! Have lots of fun this weekend, making memories to keep forever in the round-tower of your heart!

  12. I can't believe I've never read that one! I LOVE it! How sweet, and perfect for your weekend!

  13. Whenever I see this poem, I think of Lillian Hellman's wonderful play, The Children's Hour. But it so subverts Wordsworth's poem and especially how he portrays the little girls.

  14. Well, clearly I was busy this weekend. Sorry I couldn't get to everyone's posts, and thanks for you above commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. It was a fun weekend filled with reading and museum visits and PLAY. Laura, I've forgotten about Hellman's play, will have to look up the synopsis at least to remind me. I remember a terrible sadness.

  15. Linda -- This has always been a favorite. I remember my father reading it to me. It's interesting because for a while now I've been playing around with a poem about the opposite hour -- 4:00am-5:00am -- which is neither night nor day. -- Christie @

  16. Thanks for this rich and charming poem by Wadsworth Linda–what a treat for these three girls to be in Wadsworths'
    " fortress,
    And will not let you depart,
    But put you down into the dungeon
    In the round-tower of my heart.

    Enjoy your time with your granddaughters–what a treat they have in-store.


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