Hey- today is Bloggers (silent) Poetry Reading day.  While I teach Theatre, I was also an English major (double in 4 years, talk about nutso!).  So this is really fun for me.  However, picking a poem was not hard at all.  I know there are many more brilliant, complicated type poems out there, but if you want to know what my fave is . . . it is this one!

This is a poem I grew up with,  My mom used to read it to me from a book of poems she had since she was a little girl.  She always cried when she got the last stanzas and would have to stop to collect herself.  I was so proud when she read it to me one night, got to the last stanzas and I was able to finish for her after learning it just for the purpose. 

I love the picture of everyday life it paints.  The world marching on to the sound of the anvil- to the sound of work- it is so simple and so amazing.


The Village Blacksmith

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    UNDER a spreading chestnut-tree
    The village smithy stands;
    The smith, a mighty man is he,
    With large and sinewy hands;
    And the muscles of his brawny arms
    Are strong as iron bands.
    His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
    His face is like the tan;
    His brow is wet with honest sweat,
    He earns whate’er he can,
    And looks the whole world in the face,
    For he owes not any man.
    Week in, week out, from morn till night,
    You can hear his bellows blow;
    You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
    With measured beat and slow,
    Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
    When the evening sun is low.
    And children coming home from school
    Look in at the open door;
    They love to see the flaming forge,
    And hear the bellows roar,
    And catch the burning sparks that fly
    Like chaff from a threshing-floor.
    He goes on Sunday to the church,
    And sits among his boys;
    He hears the parson pray and preach,
    He hears his daughter’s voice,
    Singing in the village choir,
    And it makes his heart rejoice.
    It sounds to him like her mother’s voice,
    Singing in Paradise!
    He needs must think of her once more,
    How in the grave she lies;
    And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
    A tear out of his eyes.
    Onward through life he goes;
    Each morning sees some task begin,
    Each evening sees it close;
    Something attempted, something done,
    Has earned a night’s repose.
    Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
    For the lesson thou hast taught!
    Thus at the flaming forge of life
    Our fortunes must be wrought;
    Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
    Each burning deed and thought.

I love you MOM!  Thank you for teaching me the joy of poetry!