My first grandchild will be born soon. But what does that have to do with poetry?
This weekend my sisters hosted a baby shower for the family. There was lots of food, gifts and kids. One of the party games was competing to see who could ring the bell first and finish the line of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes.
Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack jumped over
the __________ __________.
Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn't keep her;
He put her in a _______ _______,
And there he kept her very well.
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her _______ and _______;
Hey! diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over ____ ______;
What surprised me is the children in our family did not know these nursery rhymes. At least not well enough to answer most of them. I knew all them well. And it occurred to me that these rhymes are where my idea of poetry came from. Which might explain why I know very little about poems.
I must admit that as a nonfiction writer, when I read these nursery rhymes I’m less interested in the poems themselves and more interested in finding out things like: Who was Mother Goose? When were these poems written? And what exactly is curds and whey?
My fellow TAs are gifted poets and I greatly admire their work.
Me, not so much. I’ll sum it up with a poem I wrote myself:
I’m no poet,
and I know it.
Carla Killough McClafferty