Childhood Memories

“He went to sea in a thimble of poetry.” Poet Warning, Jim Harrison

Wynken, Blyken and Nod
my childhood friends,
lived in the well-turned pages
of mother’s Child Craft book of poetry.
Their neighbors always made me smile,
the Old Lady who lived in the shoe,
Miss Muffet sitting primly on her tuffet
and that merry Old King Cole too.

I often dreamed of that crazy cow
jumping over the moon,
prancing round the stars.
I lived in my imagination
where no one yelled at anyone,
hugging my yellow sort-of-teddy-bear
smeared with mother’s lipstick
so it always smiled at me.

Those dog-eared pages,
oh how I loved them.
When mama read to me,
all was good and calm and fun.

Linda is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She introduces us to Jim Harrison (December 11, 1937 – March 26, 2016), an American poet, novelist, and essayist, and provides us with a number of lines from his works. We are to choose one line and use it as an epigraph at the beginning of our poem. An epigraph is a short quotation at the beginning of a book or chapter (in this case, a poem), intended to suggest its theme.

I still have two of the Childcraft volumes published in 1949, including the Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood. I loved these poems as a child and then read them to my children and my grandchildren too. Photo is from the book.

23 thoughts on “Childhood Memories

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 25, 2022 / 2:18 pm

    How lovely… i really love what you did with the quote… I used the same for totally different purposes.


  2. Ingrid January 25, 2022 / 3:04 pm

    You have captured the magic of nursery rhymes here, Lillian! Children have an innate sense of poetry, and I love that my kids are now learning the rhymes I learned as a child.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda Lee Lyberg January 25, 2022 / 3:06 pm

    Lillian, such precious childhood memories! I love that you still have those books.I am sure they are dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laura Bloomsbury January 25, 2022 / 3:10 pm

    how touchingly you touched on these memories – you give a nod to the shadow and then these most beautiful of lines
    “smeared with mother’s lipstick
    so it always smiled at me.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. calmkate January 25, 2022 / 3:13 pm

    delightful memories, these poems hold strong memories for me also, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sanaarizvi January 25, 2022 / 3:14 pm

    Oh my heart this is so beautiful and tender, Lillian! I especially resonate with; “the Old Lady who lived in the shoe,” and “Miss Muffet sitting primly on her tuffet.” 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Grace January 25, 2022 / 3:24 pm

    This is delightful as I recall reading those books and lines too. Always tried to imagined where that cow was, smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ain January 25, 2022 / 4:13 pm

    Your poem presses all those memories, gently, and we remember each one, and wonder…where did our imagination go…but where…..quite an emotional ride really, and a lovely reminder…


  9. Gillena Cox January 25, 2022 / 4:52 pm

    I was never read to as a child would you believe!!
    Oh but i read to my daughter and my son. to nieces and nephews and so many more children in libraries.

    And today, its all good

    much love…


  10. Stine Writing January 25, 2022 / 4:53 pm

    Awesome poem. That is so nice that you have the books still!


  11. msjadeli January 25, 2022 / 5:36 pm

    How many imaginations have been cultivated, how many shelters from the storms, have these golden volumes provided children over the years. Very enjoyable read, Lillian.


  12. Ken / rivrvlogr January 25, 2022 / 7:06 pm

    Many a child found wonder in those simple rhymes. And many of those have gone on to be poets!


  13. lynn__ January 25, 2022 / 9:09 pm

    Lovely memories of poetry readings…what happy moments shared!


  14. Truedessa January 25, 2022 / 10:23 pm

    “I lived in my imagination” – it can be a wonderful place…I still visit that magical world, I remember having a giant Mother Goose book filled with nursery rhymes. It was enchanting.


  15. ben Alexander January 26, 2022 / 4:32 am

    How incredibly sweet, Lillian 😀

    BTW, what’s a “sort-of-teddy-bear”?



  16. Quaranjavirus January 26, 2022 / 5:57 am

    I used to love reading those rhymes. Beautifully done! 🙂


  17. Carol J Forrester January 26, 2022 / 7:12 am

    I had a similar collection of childhood poems that was passed down from generation to generation. Your poem makes me want to dig them out and read them to Thea.


  18. rothpoetry January 26, 2022 / 11:27 am

    Where dreams are made, riding on the sea in a thimble of poetry! A great poem of nostalgia!


  19. Mary (tqhousecat) January 26, 2022 / 1:45 pm

    This is so delightful a poem! I cherish nursery rhymes, even though I have learned since some insidious and hidden agenda. My daughter still has the books I read to her. Love of poetry begins at the cradle.


  20. paeansunplugged January 27, 2022 / 10:44 am

    What wonderful memories! I remember those rhymes and still have the book I read from to my kids.


  21. Helen Dehner January 27, 2022 / 11:10 am

    Enchanting how you combined his line with childhood memories (precious memories.)


  22. writingwhatnots January 27, 2022 / 11:30 am

    Oh, lovely memories – stories are so important when you’re growing up.


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