My thanks to Mary Nida Smith for sharing her story yesterday about becoming a writer. I hope to hear from others on that subject.
Yesterday I was in our garage in search of one thing but found another. My discovery was an old book that had been in my parents’ house, stacked in a closet along with family bibles. It’s called THE IRIS Illuminated Souvenir and was published in 1851 by Professor John S. Hart. The publisher was Lippincott, Grambo & Co.
As you might expect of a book published ten years before the Civil War, the book is in danger of falling apart. I spent some time carefully moving through its pages and wondering who, more than a century and a half ago, once sat with the book in his or her hands, enjoying that same book.
THE IRIS is a book of inspirational writing and poetry. To my modern ear, the language is flowery and overly demonstrative, complete with heaving breasts, deep sighs, and tears that tumble. I’m sure that our language will seem equally quaint to readers in our own future.
Here is the first verse of a rather long, nostalgic poem called “The Old Kitchen Fire,” written by Caroline Eustis. Enjoy this gift from our past.
OH, happy were my early days,
And pleasant was my home,
And sunny was the green hillside
Where I was fond to roam;
No scenes, which memory recalls,
My thoughts with joy inspire,
Compared to my own little seat
Beside the kitchen fire.
I suppose today we might calll this a memory-based poem. I’ve done a couple of books based on memories. If this old poem moves you to share a memory poem of your own, I’d love to see it.