A Purple Cow and A Yellow Rose

I remember vividly, although thirty years ago, reading poems in library class at Jane Addams Elementary in Oakhurst, Oklahoma. My friend, Tara Bunganich, and I would come in from an active recess and take turns reading them together. The best days to read would be on bright Spring days. The cheerful words of a poem could help describe the happy feelings such a pretty day would bring. I recently figured out my favorite poems from my childhood. The five of them were written by poets such as Christina Rosetti, Gelett Burgess, Polly Chase Boyden, Vachel Lindsey and Elisabeth M. Roberts. They were simple and about animals and nature. I enjoyed them so much, I memorized them all with little effort:

I Never Saw A Purple Cow
Gelett Burgess
I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one
But I can tell you anyhow
I’d rather see than be one!*
The Little Turtle
Vachel Lindsey
I had a little turtle
Who lived in a box;
He swam in a puddle;
He climbed on a rock.
He snapped at a mosquito;
He snapped at a flea;
He snapped at a minnow;
He snapped at me.
He caught the mosquito;
He caught the flea;
He caught the minnow;
But he didn’t catch me.
The Woodpecker
Elisabeth M. Roberts
The woodpecker pecked out a little round hole
And made him a house in the telephone pole.
One day I watched when he poked out his head
He had on a hood and a collar of red.
When the streams of rain come down from the sky
And the sparkles of the lightning go flashing by
When the big, big wheels of the thunder roll,
He can snuggle back in the telephone pole.
Polly Chase Boyden
Mud is very nice to fell
All squishy-squash between the
I’d rather wade in wiggly mud
Than smell a yellow rose.
Nobody else but the rosebush
How nice mud feels
Between the toes.
Who Has Seen the Wind?
Christina Rosetti
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing thro’.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.
*After Gelett Burgess wrote the poem, I Never Saw a Purple Cow for the Lark in 1896, he became somewhat frustrated with it’s popularity because he had contributed much more literary talent during his time than just the mere four lined poem. So he wrote another poem for the San Francisco Lark the following year:
Ah yes, I wrote “The Purple Cow”
I’m Sorry now I wrote it
But I can tell you Anyhow
I’ll Kill you if you Quote it!

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