Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Loftier Thoughts Than Toilet Training

We have been reading from The Oxford Book of Children's Verse (the version complied by Ionaand Peter Opie- don't you just love those names?) this week and are already feeling very inspired by the poems we've chosen.

I also borrowed another book chosen and edited by this couple called A Nursery Companion. This is a spectacular book filled with “three metrical alphabets with the ‘fat black letters’ that Dickens admired”, “a pictorial grammar lesson” that is “strewed with flowers”, “a rhyming history of the kings and queens of England” and is a book that was written during a time when “gaiety and color were admitted to the nursery”. If you love the early years of 19th-century England, than this book is for you (oh, and for your children).

Yesterday, Sophia and I read Caterpillar by Christina Rossetti...

Brown and furry
Caterpillar in a hurry,
Take your walk
To the shady leaf, or stalk,
Or what not,
Which may be the chosen spot.
No toad spy you,
Hovering bird of prey pass by you:
Spin and die,
To live again a butterfly.

And today we read Laughing Song by William Blake which ends with...

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
When our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me
To sing the sweet chorus of 'Ha, ha, he!'

No matter what your circumstances are- mine being the beginning of potty training my toddler (we've got an assembly line of pails and wipes in our downstairs bathroom right now) and attempting to squeeze some academic time into the lives of two children who are sick with spring fever this week- one's mind and spirit can always be elevated to the (more) beautiful (than toilet training) aspects of creation and nature and humanity simply by reading a poem or two.

1 comment:

Charles & Rebecca said...

Just don't make the mistake of letting the boy use a tree in the woods, (a mistake made with Alex) because even though we had suceeded in teaching proper bathroom habits we learned the deep seeded desire to "water" the trees, which is ingrained in all boys is a hard habit to break! :)