This month’s prompt asked about what old, worn out thing can we not part with… I have thought long and hard about this post… and I am twisting it about a bit. Rather than worn out, I have found the well-worn… as in well-worn memories. (and it is especially relevant this month!)
Most exhibits in the Museum of Me all exist in the deep pools of my memories… well-worn and much loved memories, but not memories that I reminisce over regularly. But then something triggers those memories and they float to the top of the pool when they shimmer on the surface, lingering in the most wonderful way.
This month is one of those Memory Triggers for me…always in April my thoughts turn to my maternal grandfather… who loved poetry. He did not just love poetry, he memorized poetry and recited it often. He loved to talk about poetry, he loved you to ask questions about the poems he read and recited.
When I was a little girl, I can remember him reverently reciting Joyce Kilmer’s Trees and wondering if he was praying. My grandpa especially loved two poets… yes, Joyce Kilmer but also Carl Sandburg. He read other poets, but he memorized the poems of Kilmer and Sandburg.
My grandpa frequently quoted Sandburg poems, Fog and When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d. I did not realize until I looked up Lilacs how long it was and I am not sure if my grandpa knew the whole thing, but I remember hearing many of the verses.
Like Kilmer, my grandpa was a man of profound faith and later in life when MS ravaged his body, his recall of Kilmer’s Prayer of a Soldier in France had new meaning for him. I remember many discussions with him about how MS might defeat his body, but it would not defeat his attitude… and it would never take his faith.
Now my days start with poetry… and I can hear my grandpa asking “what took you so long?” Reading poetry is something that I have come to love and it is something that connects me to my memories of him… and occasionally, those memories rise to the surface and I feel that connection even more.
Thank you for stopping and reliving some of the memories of my grandfather with me!
See you all back here on Monday!
None of my grands read poetry or recited it, but my maternal grandfather loved to learn and said anything could be learned with a book, he was always reading something. So sweet that you have fond memories of yours and now when you read poetry you are tethered to him through words!
What wonderful memories! I’m sure that when you read some of those poems now, you can hear them in his voice, and that’s just priceless.
What a delightful take on “old, worn-out things” in your museum this month! I love that you hear your grandfather asking “What took you so long?” when you read poetry. These memories may stretch back for many years, but they are not worn out, they are strengthened and invigorated every time you approach a poem.
It’s so nice to get out those “old, worn” memories and revisit them from time to time! Thanks for sharing your memories of you Grandfather, Kat. He sounds wonderful! XO
Your grandfather sounds like quite a guy. What wonderful memories for you.
What lovely memories! No wonder you love poetry now.
This is so lovely.
What wonderful memories you have of your grandfather, he sounds like a wonderful person and I love that your current interest in poetry connects you to him.
Beautiful memory of your Grandfather. A must for your museum. My Mum was the person in my family who loved poetry. She shared the ones that would appeal to children, being an infant teacher. I read one of them at her funeral.
What a wonderful memory of your grandfather! My maternal grandfather and my dad both read poetry to me and my dad was great a memorizing poems and would sometimes drive us crazy reciting them. I wish I could hear him recite a poem now.
Your mention of “When Lilacs Last in Dooryard Bloom’d” brought me way back to 6th grade. We had read Whitman’s poem about Lincoln, “O Captain, My Captain”. Then our teacher read to us his other Lincoln poem, “When Lilacs… ” We all jumped in about how lilacs didn’t bloom until mid May (we were in upstate NY), so how were people bringing lilacs to Lincoln’s funeral train? Then she explained the concept of poetic license, had us close our eyes and picture the poem as she read it to us again. Those images have stayed with me after all these years. Thank you for bringing back some good memories!
What a moving memory, Kat. This post brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat–his strength, sensitivity, resilience. It all comes through here. How lucky to have this lasting connection with your grandfather. ♥