Life in our Foothills April 2020- Frances Flynn Poetry in the heart
Published 10:24 am Monday, April 27, 2020
Poetry in the heart across countries and years
Written and photographed by Vincent Verrecchio
“Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches…”
Eight-year-old Frances recited the poem in time with the rhythm of steel wheels clamoring across rail joints. To the initial amusement of the adults in the train compartment, her voice carried above the clickety-clack with assurance. Standing at the window, thin legs below the dress hem at her knees, a ghost of her face reflected in the glass with brown eyes looking outward. Brown braids danced along her cheeks to the beat of her words. It was beyond her imagination that she was in the beginning of a ride from England to a Poetry Festival in Tryon, 73 years in the future.
“And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle…”
Beyond the pane, livestock grazed here and there, but no battles, no bombs exploding and no longer the fear of such, but her country was still shoveling out from the war.
“All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain…”
She knew all of the words of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s “From a Railway Carriage.” It was one of the 65 poems in “A Child’s Garden of Verses” that she had mostly memorized since receiving it when she was four. A gift from her grandmother, it was well thumbed and cherished and its memory would travel with her from London across decades and the sea. It’s now in the hands of her granddaughter.
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