It’s Poetry Friday and it’s also, here in Australia, the first Friday of Winter. And boy have I been complaining about winter. I really do not like being cold. Or wet. (Unless it’s the kind of wet that comes from swimming and visiting my fishy friends, or standing under a hot shower).
I have been trying to practice gratitude and remember the good things about winter:
- It does not last for the whole year.
- It brings rain, and we need rain for life.
- It is part of the great cycle of life.
- Coats and boots. I do like wearing warm coats and nice boots.
In the midst of shivering and whinging, I had an email from the convenor of a poetry workshop I gave last week which was a wonderful, warm opportunity to share my love of poetry with passionate literacy educators on the other side of Australia. In her email, she shared of her favourite childhood poems. And suddenly I was warm right though – because it was an old favourite I had completely forgotten.
And, since it’s a winter poem, it’s an apt one to share today.
The Elf and The Dormouse
by Oliver Herford
Under a toadstool crept a wee Elf,
Out of the rain to shelter himself.
Under the toadstool, sound asleep,
Sat a big Dormouse all in a heap.
Trembled the wee Elf, frightened and yet
Fearing to fly away lest he get wet.
To the next shelter—maybe a mile!
Sudden the wee Elf smiled a wee smile.
Tugged till the toadstool toppled in two.
Holding it over him, gaily he flew.
Soon he was safe home, dry as could be.
Soon woke the Dormouse—”Good gracious me!
“Where is my toadstool?” loud he lamented.
—And that’s how umbrellas first were invented.
Written in 1894, this is still such a lovely poem. I’m glad my new friend reminded me of its existence.
Now I’m off to warm my heart a little more, by dropping in my Poetry Friday friends. Today’s round up is hosted by Karen , who, funnily enough, is excited about summer!