• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)com

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    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
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    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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Poetry Friday: Christmas and Solstice favorites

I’ve posted the first two poems before, and figured it’s the time of year to visit old friends.

The first poem isn’t a proper poem, and I’m not a proper Jethro Tull fan. But I do like the words on the winter solstice.

The Christmas poems comes from a charming Random House Pictureback holiday anthology, Diane Goode’s Christmas Magic: Poems and Carols, published in 1992 and probably out of print but worth tracking down, especially because Diane Goode is the Diane Goode who did such a marvelous job illustrating When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant, and other delicacies. Ms. Goode also has excellent taste in children’s Christmas poetry. I found our copy at the local Goodwill shop when Laura was a baby.

Ring Out, Solstice Bells
by Jethro Tull

Now is the solstice of the year,
winter is the glad song that you hear.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Have the lads up ready in a line.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Join together beneath the mistletoe.
by the holy oak whereon it grows.
Seven druids dance in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Praise be to the distant sister sun,
joyful as the silver planets run.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.
Ring out those bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.
Ring on, ring out.
Ring on, ring out.

In the Week When Christmas Comes
by Eleanor Farjeon

This is the week when Christmas comes.

Let every pudding burst with plums,
And every tree bear dolls and drums,
In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every hall have boughs of green,
With berries glowing in between,
In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every doorstep have a song
Sounding the dark street along,
In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every steeple ring a bell
With a joyful tale to tell,
In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every night put forth a star
To show us where the heavens are,
In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every stable have a lamb,
Sleeping warm beside its dam,
In the week when Christmas comes.

This is the week when Christmas comes.

Merry Christmas
from St. Nicholas Magazine*

M for the Music, merry and clear;
E for the Eve, the crown of the year;
R for the Romping of bright girls and boys;
R for the Reindeer that bring them the toys;
Y for the Yule log softly aglow.

C for the Cold of the sky and the snow;
H for the Hearth where they hang up the hose;
R for the Reel which the old folks propose;
I for the Icicles seen through the pane;
S for the Sleigh bells, with tinkling refrain;
T for the Tree with gifts all abloom;
M for the Mistletoe hung in the room;
A for the Anthems we all love to hear;
S for St. Nicholas — joy of the year!

*St. Nicholas Magazine was an American children’s magazine published by Scribner’s from 1873 to 1941; its first editor was Mary Mapes Dodge, best known for writing Hans Brinker. I’m lucky to have one of Henry Steele Commager’s hardbound anthologies of the magazine, from 1948, which includes at the end a selection of works by children in the “St. Nicholas League” — the contributors include a 17-year-old Edna St. Vincent Millay (an Honor Member then, in 1910); Eudora Welty, age 15 (in 1925); Stephen Vincent Benét, age 15 (1914), and his brother William Rose, age 16 (1902); Cornelia Otis Skinner, age 11 (1911), who would go on to write one of the funniest books ever; Sterling North, all of eight in 1915; and Rachel Lyman Field, age 16 (1911). If you’re interested in learning more about the magazine, this comprehensive website is a wealth of information.

* * *

Gina at AmoxCalli is the festive holiday host for today’s Poetry Friday Round-Up. Thanks, Gina, and greetings of the season to all!

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