Friday, June 02, 2006

Morning Tea and Poetry

Many a morning I sit for tea all by myself. The house quiet, perhaps a bit of music coming from the living room, but for the most part the house is quiet. The floor boards in the dinning room creaking and cracking as I prepare for this morning treat.
Pausing in front of the tea cups, I try to pick one that suits my fancy this morning. After the tea cup is chosen, then the tea pot, the sugar and creamer and my plate. Sometimes I match things according to patterns and sometimes according to colors. Today it was a bit of both.
No one is around so I don't have to worry about setting a good example on food choices for this first food of the day. I choose a piece of sweet potato cake, made yesterday afternoon. I reason it this way, sweet potatoes are healthy. The icing is cream cheese, a bit of maple syrup and yes some sugar.
The tea, Earl Gray. My personal favorite tea, next to rose petal tea that is, but I am out of that.
Everything is set. I love to read while I eat. Savoring words and bites together, mingling food for the body with food for the soul.
I adore poetry. Which makes me wonder, do children still learn poems in school. Long wonderful things like The Raven or torturous things like Paradise Lost ? I taught my girls poetry from the time they could speak sentences. We still cherish moments of reciting together "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". A poem they learned well before first grade. Last birthday Melissa gave me a copy of the very same book we used so long ago. The illustrations still delight me to this day.
This mornings readings were from one of my favorite poets. Edgar Guest. So humble, so wise, so simple and down to earth. He writes about the things we all cherish. I love his collection of poems called "The Path To Home" My copy is from 1919, a first edition and wonderfully leather bound.
Break time is over now and its time for me to finish up some work around the house.
Here is a favorite poem of mine, one of many actually.

The Path to Home

THERE'S the mother at the doorway, and the children at the gate,
And the little parlor windows with the curtains white and straight.
There are shaggy asters blooming in the bed that lines the fence,
And the simplest of the blossoms seems of mighty consequence.
Oh, there isn't any mansion underneath God's starry dome
That can rest a weary pilgrim like the little place called home.
Men have sought for gold and silver; men have dreamed at night of fame;
In the heat of youth they've struggled for achievement's honored name;
But the selfish crowns are tinsel, and their shining jewels paste,
And the wine of pomp and glory soon grows bitter to the taste.
For there's never any laughter howsoever far you roam,
Like the laughter of the loved ones in the happiness of home.

Edgar Guest


Marci said...

Great post Pat. I would love to have someone to teach me how to make tamales.

I loved the poem as well. Maybe I should invest in a couple of poetry books.

Rondi said...

GBA students still learn poetry =) In fact, every unit in American and English literature, they have all or parts of 10-12 poems to learn. Today, I was hearing the last of Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth, etc. from the seniors. In American Lit, the very last thing I read to them today was the Frost poem in your post. I told them how we had to learn it for Miss Brace...remember???! We're all so amazed and pleased about Melanie...we prayed for her...

Much To Catch Up....

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