Category Archives: poetry

Children: The Ring of Life

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I noticed the pool before I really saw the figures as I walked around the campus of Iowa State University this morning.  Real children playing tend to capture my attention – especially  when I have no where else I have to be at the moment.  These kids caught in stone deserved a closer look.

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The words on the rim of the pool are from a poem by James Whitcomb Riley.

The Hired Man’s Faith in Children
by James Whitcomb Riley

I believe all children’s good,
Ef they’re only understood,
Even bad ones, ‘pears to me,
‘S jes’ as good as they kin be!

Of course they are “as good as they kin be!”  These children are playing with a water lily and a turtle; there are a couple of frogs behind them.

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Titled “The Marriage Ring” and also known as “The Ring of Life,” the original sculpture was done by Christian Petersen (Danish-American, 1885-1961) during his tenure as professor and artist-in-residence at ISU.   Because of vandalism, the sculpture was recast in reinforced concrete in the early 1990s.

“The circular basin of the pool represents a wedding ring and the valuable gems of the ring are symbolized by the three children, which Petersen considered the jewels of a marriage.”

– Iowa State University, University Museums, http://umsm003.its.iastate.edu/view/objects/asitem/326/542/title-asc?t:state:flow=86c383ec-25f2-47ba-b6ff-8609eb50a7c3

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As is often the case, the pastor/teacher in me was reminded of a few words of scripture.

“Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.”  Then he blessed the children.  – Matthew 19:14-15a, CEB

Whether with a child, a friend or on your own, may you have time to play today.

A.A.Milne: Wind on the Hill

Wind on the Hill

No one can tell me, / Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from, / Where the wind goes.

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Dancing in the Wind.  Photo: TLClark, 5/24/19.

It’s flying from somewhere / As fast as it can,
I couldn’t keep up with it, Not if I ran.

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Taking Off.  Photo: TLClark, 5/24/19.

But if I stopped holding / The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind / For a day and a night.

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Going Up.  Photo: TLClark, 5/24/19.

And then when I found it, / Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind / Had been going there too.

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Sailing Away.  Photo: TLClark, 5/24/19.

So then I could tell them / Where the wind goes . . .
But where the wind comes from  / Nobody knows.

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Coming Down.  Photo: TLClark, 5/24/19.

Poem by A. A. Milne, “Wind on the Hill,” in Now We are Six.

A.A.Milne: The Island

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Cape Meares State Park, Oregon Coast. Photo: TLClark, October 2011.

“If I had a ship,” the poem “The Island” by A.A.Milne begins.  The first stanzas describe sailing the ship through the seas to a beach and leaving the ship to climb up the steep white sand to the trees.  It concludes:

And there would I rest, and lie,
My chin in my hands, and gaze
At the dazzle of sand below,
And the green waves curling slow,
And the grey-blue distant haze
Where the sea goes up to the sky . . . .

And I’d say to myself as I looked so lazily down at the sea;
“There’s nobody else in the world, and the world was made for me.”

A. A. Milne, “The Island,” in When We Were Very Young, Copyright, 1924, by E. P. Dutton, Copyright Renewal, 1952, by A. A. Milne.

On one hand, the last line seems selfishly self-centered.
On the other hand, it reminds me that we all do well to take time away in nature, to spend time alone, to rest, to gaze about, and to wonder.

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Green waves, Pacific Ocean, Oregon Coast. Photo: TLClark, October 2011.

I didn’t (and don’t) have a ship, the pictures are not from or of an island, and the weather was too chilly to stay still long!  Nevertheless they are what I remembered when I read A. A. Milne’s poem.

Wherever you are and whatever the weather, may you take time to rest and to wonder!

Blessings,
Teressa

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Astoria Bridge over the Columbia River, Astoria, OR. Photo: TLCLark, May 2010.

A. A. Milne: Daffodowndilly

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Daffodils, Reiman Gardens, 5/4/18.  Photo: TLClark.

Daffodowndilly

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,

She wore her greenest gown;

She turned to the south wind

And curtsied up and down.

She turned to the sunlight

And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbour:

“Winter is dead.”

A.A.Milne, in When We Were Very Young, Copyright, 1924 by E. P. Dutton, Copyright Renewal, 1952, by A. A. Milne

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Daffodils, Reiman Gardens, 5/4/18.  Photo: TLClark.

Daffodil season is a month or more away here in central Iowa.  But I read the A. A. Milne poem the other day and couldn’t resist sharing.  The pictures are from an outing last spring to Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University, Ames (click here to discover Reiman Gardens).  The bright yellow makes me smile despite the overcast, rainy, gray day out my window this morning.

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Double Daffodils, Reiman Gardens, 5/4/18.  Photo: TLClark.

Have a beautiful day!

Teressa