William Blake Poetry
As some of you know we are using Ambleside as our main homeschool curriculum. Boo has just finished a semester reading the poems of William Blake which she really enjoyed.
A week ago I asked her to think about all the poems she had read and then see if she could choose a favorite. She thought that this would be really hard, and since I also asked her to copy the poem in her narrations book I was also worried she would end up choosing the shortest rather than truly choosing her favorite.
Yesterday Boo started quoting her poem, in a singsong fashion and was so excited that she could remember most of it. By the end of the day she had quoted it to everyone who would sit still long enough to listen, including little Jam -- well he didn't sit still but she followed him around saying..."Do you want to listen to my favorite poem".
She even walked around the grocery store saying the poem out loud with a HUGE smile on her face.
What a pleasure it was for me to see her so excited about a poem.
William Blake : The Echoing Green
The sun does arise, And make happy the skies. The merry bells ring To welcome the spring. The skylark and thrush, The birds of the bush, Sing louder around, To the bells’ cheerful sound, While our sports shall be seen On the echoing green. Old John with white hair Does laugh away care, Sitting under the oak, Among the old folk. They laugh at our play, And soon they all say: ‘Such, such were the joys When we all, girls and boys, In our youth-time were seen On the echoing green.’ Till the little ones weary No more can be merry; The sun does descend, And our sports have an end. Round the laps of their mother Many sisters and brothers, Like birds in their nest, Are ready for rest; And sport no more seen On the darkening green.
Of course she has had great role models. Both her Grandmother (my Mom) and Nana and Great Nana B love poetry.
One of her goals is to learn this poem her Nana quotes it. We also recently celebrated her Great Nana's 100th Birthday where Nana B quoted this poem as well. (Of course this poem sounds better when read with the right accent!)
Albert and the Lion
There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.
A grand little lad was young Albert,
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.
They didn't think much of the Ocean:
The waves, they were fiddlin' and small,
There was no wrecks and nobody drownded,
Fact, nothing to laugh at at all.
So, seeking for further amusement,
They paid and went into the Zoo,
Where they'd Lions and Tigers and Camels,
And old ale and sandwiches too.
There were one great big Lion called Wallace;
His nose were all covered with scars -
He lay in a somnolent posture,
With the side of his face on the bars.
Now Albert had heard about Lions,
How they was ferocious and wild -
To see Wallace lying so peaceful,
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.
So straightway the brave little feller,
Not showing a morsel of fear,
Took his stick with its 'orse's 'ead 'andle
And pushed it in Wallace's ear.
You could see that the Lion didn't like it,
For giving a kind of a roll,
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im,
And swallowed the little lad 'ole.
Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence,
And didn't know what to do next,
Said 'Mother! Yon Lion's 'et Albert',
And Mother said 'Well, I am vexed!'
Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom -
Quite rightly, when all's said and done -
Complained to the Animal Keeper,
That the Lion had eaten their son.
The keeper was quite nice about it;
He said 'What a nasty mishap.
Are you sure that it's your boy he's eaten?'
Pa said "Am I sure? There's his cap!'
The manager had to be sent for.
He came and he said 'What's to do?'
Pa said 'Yon Lion's 'et Albert,
'And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too.'
Then Mother said, 'Right's right, young feller;
I think it's a shame and a sin,
For a lion to go and eat Albert,
And after we've paid to come in.'
The manager wanted no trouble,
He took out his purse right away,
Saying 'How much to settle the matter?'
And Pa said "What do you usually pay?'
But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone.
She said 'No! someone's got to be summonsed' -
So that was decided upon.
Then off they went to the P'lice Station,
In front of the Magistrate chap;
They told 'im what happened to Albert,
And proved it by showing his cap.
The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.
At that Mother got proper blazing,
'And thank you, sir, kindly,' said she.
'What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy Lions? Not me!'