Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Little Bone Poetry and A Little Past Due Recognition

Close up of  Catrina Cavalres, Studio Art Quilt
By R. Paulette Lancaster

Phyllis McGinley
( 1905-1978)
There are some poems that when you read them they engrave themselves on your heart.
I recall sitting in my eighth grade English Literature class and reading this poem:

Sticks and stones are hard on bones,
aimed with angry art.
Words can sting like anything but
Silence breaks the heart.

Now  most every school child gets to know the classic version,
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me..... followed by one sticking out one's tongue at the offending jerk.

I was touched to my core with the truth of that little poem. Being a teenager at the time, one sometimes comes to know the peer pressure of being ostracized and or given the silent treatment for what ever reason happens to be handy.

I also recall that there wasn't an author's name given for the poem, the tried but true anonymous had been trotted out as author.
Thinking on bone subjects I remembered this poem and was curious to see if I could find it and possibly the author for it as well.
And I did!
Her name was Phyllis McGinley, an author of children's story and poem books.  She was the copywriter and poetry editor for the prestigious Town & Country magazine.
She also won the Nobel Pulitzer Prize  for Poetry in 1960!

So my question is why in the hell wouldn't a school text book know who had written that poem, considering Ms. McGinley was a Noble Prize winner for Pete's sake!

I have read that Anonymous is a woman
 I truly believe that now.


Sunshineshelle said...

Anon, if it was bad enough it stands for a woman, it got shortened to 4 letters! Great to find out who birthed that poem, it has comforted many a child in the playground, you did well to find out and 'thanks' to Phyllis :)

Magaly Guerrero said...

The poetry of someone who has suffered, dropped on her behind, and gotten up to continue living...

It left me with a weird sense of happiness and sadness... and hope.

P. S. This would make a lovely " the Bone" post, let me know if you want me to add it to the party ;-)

Ms Misantropia said...

"Silence breaks you heart" So true, love it.

Linda Wildenstein said...

I'm so glad that Magaly added this post to the party. Excellent offering. Oma Linda