Margaret C. just posted this to the Alternative Quilt List, and I'm probably the last to see it...even though I love Jigzone. They used Carol Taylor's Convergence quilt from the wonderful Confetti series.
Pepek asked about a maudlin poem I mentioned about a dog named Rags. I used to check out a poetry anthology from the grade school library, but I could never finish that particular poem without tears.
I decided to Google the poem and was a bit surprised that I found it and that it has been taken up by many animal rights groups. Written by Edward Vance Cooke, and possibly based on this real life Rags (who had a happier ending), the title is They Called Him Rags. My mother would throw up her hands when I came home with that anthology because of the quite uncharacteristic sobbing she had to endure. This poem and Eugene Field's poem Little Boy Blue always made me cry. The only place I ever saw the Rags poem was in that anthology of nearly 50 years ago, but Little Boy Blue was a frequent sorrow. I couldn't even read it to my children.
So...both poems are overly sentimental and manipulative. Not great poetry by any stretch of the imagination; yet both contributed to my life-long love of poetry and, perhaps, to a form of empathy that could be a good thing. Although after finding They Called Him Rags again, I am doubtful if anyone would encourage children to read the poem (as I say Mother was frustrated by deliberately caused grief).
What is the importance, then, of the maudlin or silly or overly rhyming poems that we loved as children? They captured our imagination, they encouraged the love of language, they helped form our opinions. Another "bad" poem by Edward Vance Cooke that I loved as a child was How Did You Die? With lines like "Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce? Or a trouble is what you make it," the message is that you have more control than you think over your life and the way it affects you. How you live is more important than how you die.
I'll be thinking all day about the poems of my childhood; I was a voracious reader and poetry was a large part of what my reading. What are some of the poems that have stayed with you over the years?