Today is the winter solstice and in search of relevant poems, I looked through A Time for Poetry, compiled by May Hill Arbuthnot, a classic book that I’ve cherished ever since my mother started reading poems from it to me and my brothers in the early 1950s (the book was published in 1952). I took it with me to college and have held onto it through every subsequent phase of my life; now the cover is stained and the binding worn and torn, but the contents are intact and include a fascinating introductory essay, “Reading Poetry to Children” and “notes on the presentation of individual poems,” by Arbuthnot. I particularly like the organization of the “representative collection of poetry,” under these topics: All Sorts of People, The Animal Fair, Traveling We Go, Let’s Play, How Ridiculous, Magic and Make Believe, Wind and Weather, Round the Clock, Round the Calendar, Wisdom and Beauty. Why is the title of this post: “I didn’t know that!”? Because in dipping into Arbuthnot’s book, I happened upon, “The Star,” with the familiar lines “Twinkle, twinkle, little star . . . .” What I didn’t know was those lines were written by Jane Taylor, an English poet and novelist who lived from 1783-1824! She wrote “The Star,” for “Rhymes for the Nursery,” which was published in 1806.
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