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.
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.