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Ben Sauter, a character, in his own words

Remembering poems

I didn't realize that I liked poetry so much until I started to attend Mr. Ditman's poetry readings in the N. parlor of Assisted living.

The poems from childhood came back so clearly. We must have remembered them in elementary school.

Let me tell you about some of the poems I really like.

One about the poet seeing a host of golden daffodils fluttering and dancing in the breeze. And he goes on to say that whenever he is feeling blue, he thinks about those daffodils and then his heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils.

Another poet says: He's never seen a poem as lovely as a tree.

Another poet tells of this old Sea Captain who has retired but from his porch overlooking the harbor, he sees the ships coming and going. And he says to himself: I must go down to the sea again to the lonely sea and the sky and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

Then a sad poem is about the charge of the Light Brigade. 600 soldiers were ordered to charge this heavily fortified place. There were cannons to their right, cannons to their left volleying and thundering. Some made it through, but then they returned, all that was left of them, left of six hundred!

Then there's a poem about Sam McGee and how he suffered soo much from the fierce cold of the Klondike while searching for gold. He made his sidekick promise to not let his body stay up there if he died. So Sam seemingly died. So his buddy said: I gotta get him out of here. So he starts the journey across the snow and ice. Suddenly, he comes to an old ship which had run aground so he boards the ship and finds the ship's boiler is still in good shape. So he starts a hot fire. And then he puts Sam in there and closes the door to cremate him. After some hours, the buddy opened the furnace door to see how things were going and there Sam is sitting there and he yells: Close that door, this is the first time I've been warm since I've been up here!

Then there's "The Lady of the Lake" which we read in Jr. High School. I will try to recite the first few lines . . .


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( . . . recites . . . )

The stag at eve had drunk his fill,
Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,
And deep his midnight lair had made
In lone Glenartney's hazel shade;
But, when the sun his beacon red
Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head,
The deep-mouthed blood-hound's heavy bay
Resounded up the rocky way,
And faint, from farther distance borne,
Were heard the clanging hoof and horn.

I first heard Pop recite this about 1996, probably his first time in almost 60 years. Some of the lines are such tongue-twisters for me that I can barely say it with the words in front of me. In late 2011 I started reading "The Lady of the Lake", and right off I said, hey, there's that verse Pop memorized!

I mentioned "The Cremation of Sam McGee" as one of Mom's favorites in her tribute page.

Helpful keywords not in the main text:

Trees, by Joyce Kilmer
The Daffodils, by William Wordsworth
Sea-Fever, by John Masefield
The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Cremation of Sam McGee, by Robert W. Service
The Lady of the Lake, by Walter Scott