Today is the last day of National Poetry Month, and while folk like us act as though every month is Poetry Month, there is something special about an official National Poetry Month. We don't like to see it end. I'm finishing up with a last-minute response to the Ditty-of-the-Month Club challenge set by Marilyn Singer over at Michelle Heidenrich Barnes's blog, Today's Little Ditty. Marilyn's new collection of reversos based on Greek myths is Echo Echo, and we were all challenged to write a poem (not necessarily a reverso) inspired by the word echo. Here's mine, in under the wire.
our own song
echoes strong but
Linda Baie of TeacherDance closes out our month of Poetry-Music Match-Ups with a poem and a song decidedly for young children--which has proved trickier than I expected. She writes, "Growing up, my children loved listening to "The Marvelous Toy" and other songs sung by Peter, Paul & Mary. We even got to see them once with front row seats! ... another poet I shared quite a bit with them was Eugene Field. I thought "The Duel" might make a good connection, both toy adventures!"
I know this poem very well indeed, from a deeply familiar red-and-gold-bound collection of children's poems my mother read to us often...but "The Marvelous Toy" (much more modern!) wasn't part of my childhood experience. Hope you enjoy...here they are, and thank you, Linda!
The Duel || Eugene Field
The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
‘T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t’ other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I was n’t there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)
The gingham dog went “Bow-wow-wow!”
And the calico cat replied “Mee-ow!”
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I’m only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)
The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, “Oh, dear! what shall we do!”
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfullest way you ever saw—
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
(Don’t fancy I exaggerate—
I got my news from the Chinese plate!)
Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)