Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Book Review

The tattered book with its cover falling loose from the spine bears witness to the devotion to and love for this aging tome--mine. Inside, on the blank page before the title page, I wrote my name and the date: May 11, 1964, the end of my second year in college. As I recall, I had long coveted this book, but its price (something like $5.95)was beyond my student's budget. Toward the end of the school year, my father sent me a ten-dollar bill (not easily come by for him either) and instructed me to treat myself to a nice meal off-campus and use the remainder for "an extra large jar of peanut butter". The latter is what we often subsisted on in lieu of the cafeteria's offerings. To heck with the restaurant meal! I bought the book. What I did with the rest of the money eludes me, but it probably went for nylons or peanut butter.

The Best Loved Poems of the American People, selected by Hazel Felleman (New York: Garden City Books--copyright 1936 by Doubleday & Company) has been my faithful companion lo these many years.
It has comforted me, cheered me, inspired me, and provided me with pure, unadulterated joy when there was none to be had elsewhere in my life.

It's divided into twelve sections:
  • Love and Friendship
  • Inspiration
  • Poems That Tell a Story
  • Faith and Reverence
  • Home and Mother
  • Childhood and Youth
  • Patriotism and War
  • Humor and Whimsey
  • Memory and Grief
  • Nature
  • Animals
  • Various Themes
"Make new friends, but keep the old..."
"Hold fast your dreams!"
" the touch of the Master's hand."
"Make me too brave to lie or be unkind..."
"The woman was old and ragged and gray..."
"I remember, I remember, the house where I was born..."
"Breathes there a man with soul so dead..."
"A frog went a-courtin', away he did ride, huh-huh..."
"'Tis the last rose of summer left blooming alone..."
"I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree..."
"In Egypt they worshiped me...I am the cat..."
"The woman I am hides deep in me..."

and so many, many more that even now I can read over and over without tiring.

When I was a little girl, my mother taught me (as a means of inculcating respect and care) that "books are your friends". Indeed they were...are..will be forever. 

Disclaimer: I own this book and am reviewing it simply because I love it and would like to share it with others!


K9friend said...

Sounds like a truly wonderful collection and special keepsake.

BTW, loved your "disclaimer"!

nlindabrit said...

I have a favourite book of poems called The Rattle-Bag. My late cousin, Joyce, bought it for me many years ago and it too is an old and valued friend.