??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness

By Heart


Daily Prompt– You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

I learnt this poem in Year 2 at school. I loved poetry even at that young age. I loved the rhyme and music in the words. I remember this poem for a few reasons. It was it was in a book called A Child’s Garden of Verse. I don’t remember if I was given the book because the poem was in it or it just so happened it was.

windy nights

I was taught this poem to recital level  by a teacher who was  often very negative, however I rose to her expectations throughout the year she taught me. It’s funny how kids and even adults will often seek the approval of the very ones who put them down. This teacher placed high value on poetry recital and it was up my alley! I achieved here what others couldn’t and it felt good to succeed.

The secret was I was  more than happy to practise this poem on my own time while to the rest of the class I guess it was a chore. The words painted a picture of danger to me – danger that was there when the wind howled- the very danger my parents tried to allay when storms and  very windy nights would frighten me. It added credence to my belief that storms did in fact have an element of danger. I loved bringing the words to life with expression, often done in my head when the lights were turned off for bedtime and always when the weather  turned.

I imagined that man on his horse…  coat tails flapping with the gallop, the sudden halting of the horse on his command to turn and go back. I imagined the nostrils of the horse flaring against the cold and wet that smothered the man and his horse. I felt the sting of mud tossed by the hooves and heard the whinny against the howl of that wind.

To this day I still love this poem. I am also thankful to that teacher. She had little faith but that developed in me a desire to push a little harder to achieve just to show her I could. I still have that push when needed- a gentle competitive streak. She also fostered my developing love of poetry as it was obviously a passion to her and we spent much time learning many.

To this day I still wonder who he is.



Author: Travelling Macs

A mum to 2 grown up children who always make me proud, a wife and a full time school teacher. I love eating great food but am not motivated to cook. Love traveling around this great country in which I live. Often found traveling with my husband Brian. I write for pleasure and if it's read (and enjoyed) by others then that's a bonus! 2014 saw me begin the 'new' me. Working hard at leaving the fear of 'what if' behind and replacing it with YOLO adventures. :)

10 thoughts on “By Heart

  1. The woodpecker pecked out a little round hole
    and made him a home in the telephone pole
    One day when I looked he poked out his head
    and he had on a hood the colour of red.

    When streams of rain fall out of the sky
    and sparkles of lightning go flashing by
    (can’t remember the next line)
    He’s safe and sound in the telephone pole

    Thanks for the prompt and the reminder. I learned that one when I was about 7 I think.

  2. It’s odd how negativity can unwittingly set us on our life paths. I had an English teacher in High School who thought I did not have the understanding of English literature to complete the highest level of English ( this, for a child who at 8 years old had understanding of what made the Wizard of Oz tick). She resorted to underhand tricks such as withholding A grade assignments, and always assuming it was me who copied, rather than the friends I helped. She unwittingly helped me set my mind to prove every challenge wrong.

  3. I had that book too Kerry! Brings back fond memories!
    Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
    Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches.
    Charging along like troops in a battle … Can’t remember the rest!

  4. Good heavens, you girls have wonderful memories! I could never remember poems, and with a tune to go with it, I could almost remember ..when the daffodils dance in the sun and the rain, then we know that the springtime is coming again.

  5. The first poem I memorised was Vespers by A.A. Milne. Close behind that was Windy Night. I had the Children’s Garden of Verse as well and I LOVED that poem. I learned Speech and Drama (elocution lessons back in the day) from when I was seven and had to learn at least three recitations a year. I then taught Speech and Drama for 15 years before going into primary teaching so spent a lot of time teaching children poetry recitation. I found a copy of C G of V recently and took a trip down memory lane reading it!

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