To celebrate April as National Poetry Month, I’ve been reading poetry to my boys (most of) these days. When I was shelving J 820s a couple weeks ago I picked this book up and it’s proven to be an excellent choice. It’s a great collection on a wide variety of topics from authors well known, and not.
How fun to find Casey at the Bat included in the “Poems That Tell Stories” section. Many years ago I memorized this poem and recited it for a school assignment. While I only have snippets of those poetic words still stored where I can find them, I found myself standing right back in my childhood delivery of the poem when I read through the arc of the story other night – feeling all the potential for glory and the danger of conceit, as if it were mine.
Alas, as I poured these memories into my reading, building the poem to its final stanza:
“And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow”
….my boys followed along with mild amusement and entertained themselves with their vast sporting knowledge: “Three strikes means you’re out.”
Ah well. They may not love to kick, or run, or throw a ball as much as I did and do, but they both love story. And there is a poem called The Reading Mother in this collection! You can read it here. And should. And you can be sure that my boys have now heard these final lines many times over:
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold,
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a mother who read to me.