Poetry Anyone?

poetryWhat Is Poetry?

There are as many definitions of poetry as there are poets. Wordsworth defined poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings;” Emily Dickinson said, “If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry;” and Dylan Thomas defined poetry this way: “Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing.”

My mother was a great lover of poetry.  She wrote her own, and enjoyed reading a wide variety of authors.  As a family – at least, my mom, my daughter, and I – liked to read poetry aloud.

I am going to share a poem that my mother loved, and that I think is clever and funny and, at the same time, illustrates a truth.  It is rather old fashioned – the author died in 1911, so I suppose it is bound to be that way!  It is titled, The Calf Path.  The author, Sam Walter Foss, wrote another poem that is quite well known, titled A House By The Side Of The Road, which may be more familiar to you.

In the comments, please feel free to share your favorite poems/poets.

pagedividerThe Calf Path
by S.W. Foss

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should; calfpath - Copy

But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.

But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

path_sheep_8 - CopyThe trail was taken up next day,
By a lone dog that passed that way.

And then a wise bell-wether sheep,
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep;

And drew the flock behind him too,sheeppath - Copy
As good bell-wethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade.
Through those old woods a path was made.

path_10 - CopyAnd many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about;

And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because ’twas such a crooked path.

But still they followed – do not laugh –
The first migrations of that calf.

And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane, crooked path - Copy
that bent, and turned, and turned again.

This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load,

Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.

And thus a century and a half,
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

snakealleybest - CopyThe years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;

And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare;

And soon the central street was this,
Of a renowned metropolis;

And men two centuries and a half, Crooked-Road-San-Francisco-USA-e1324137471733 - Copy
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag calf about;

And o’er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a continent.

A Hundred thousand men were led,
By one calf near three centuries dead.

crooked road - CopyThey followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;

For thus such reverence is lent,
To well established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;

calfpaths - CopyFor men are prone to go it blind,
Along the calf-paths of the mind;

And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done.

They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

crooked-path2They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move.

But how the wise old wood gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!

Ah! many things this tale might teach –
But I am not ordained to preach.

Knowing the likes of the group here, perhaps another poem (about cats, rather than calves!) is more to your liking:

Cat Kisses

Sandpaper kisses
On a cheek or a chin –
That is the way
for a day to begin!

Sandpaper kisses
A cuddle and a purr.
I have an alarm clock
That’s covered in fur!

Author Unknown


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11 Responses to Poetry Anyone?

  1. nyetneetot says:

    “One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.”

    – -Voltaire

    Liked by 4 people

    • taqiyyologist says:

      Voltaire also said:

      “To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

      In other words, don’t criticize Islam, Muslims, or militant SJW blacks or militant SJWs.

      They are our new massas.

      Yes, massas. We loves us some Islam. We loves us some knock-out game. We loves us some boy scout and Hollywood boy rape. It’s all good. Im’a just keep my head down.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. taqiyyologist says:

    Liked by 2 people

  3. taqiyyologist says:

    Who invented Rap?

    An old white Hebrew named Mel Blanc.

    Who “stole” it?

    Even the subject matter.

    It’s hard to wrap (heh.) the mind around.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lovely says:

    I love the calf poem, like the cat poem.

    A very short poem about Christ, I thought it was from St. Aquinas but I can’t attribute it because I can’t find it and it has been years since it popped into my mind.

    And having built the nest,

    Drew first breath therein.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. texan59 says:

    That’s a mighty fine poem about that calf ma’am. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Col.(R) Ken says:

    Voltaire also said: The valiant taste death only once, while cowards died many time before battle.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. taqiyyologist says:

    From the Tree’s latest thread:

    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.

    –JRR Tolkein, which should be canonized as prophecy and Logos.

    Liked by 2 people

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