My Poetic Aunts

My Poetic Aunts

Last week I wrote about poetry and suggested YOU try your hand at writing some. This week I want to tell you about two of my three aunts, who both wrote poetry—specifically, doggerel verse.

Actually all three of my aunts wrote poetry, but I was still a little girl when Aunt Bess died, so I never got to read her poems, only hear them discussed (but never quoted).

Aunt Esther lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut, over an hour’s drive away, so our visits to her were rare, but she was my favorite relative on my father’s side of the family, and one of the reasons was her books of poetry—poetry she herself had written—which she let me sit and read. No, she was not a published poet. The books, as best I can recall lo these many decades later, were scrapbooks into which she had glued the pieces of paper on which she’d written the poems. But I read and absorbed the poems, marveled at her talent, and, as an aspiring poet myself, hoped I had inherited some of her poetic genes.

Then there was my Aunt Hank. Her given name was Hannah, but she went by “Hank” till she was in her nineties. Like my father’s other two sisters, she had the gift of writing poetry, although I don’t remember perusing books of her poetry the way I did with Aunt Esther. What I DO remember is the poems she wrote especially for me on my birthday and at Christmastime. I don’t actually recall any of the poems themselves in the sense of being able to recite any part of them, but what I do remember is my delight in receiving them, by mail, on the appropriate occasions. A number of the poems mentioned me by name, which particularly delighted me, and I also recall that one Christmas poem had something to do with red-nosed Rudolph.

If you have a child, grandchild, small niece or nephew, or neighbor child you’re particularly fond of, and you think you have a penchant for poetry, try writing a poem especially for that child.

You just might make their day!

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