Sunday, January 07, 2018

A Crinkly Feeling Up and Down Your Back

"Did you ever go to school?" demanded Marilla, turning the sorrel mare down the shore road.

"Not a great deal. I went a little the last year I stayed with Mrs. Thomas.When I went up river we were so far from a school that I couldn't walk it in winter and there was vacation in summer, so I could only go in the spring and fall. But of course I went while I was at the asylum. I can read pretty well and I know ever so many pieces of poetry off by heart--'The Battle of Hohenlinden' and 'Edinburgh after Flodden,' and 'Bingen on the Rhine,' and lots of the 'Lady of the Lake' and most of 'The Seasons,' by James Thompson. Don't you just love poetry that gives you a crinkly feeling up and down your back? There is a piece in the Fifth Reader--'The Downfall of Poland'--that is just full of thrills. Of course, I wasn't in the Fifth Reader--I was only in the Fourth--but the big girls used to lend me theirs to read."

L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, Children's Classics (New York: 1988) p. 33.

It's a sign that Anne is fairly serious about poetry if she has 'Edinburgh after Flodden' by heart; it's metrically and schematically apt for memorization, but is not exactly a short piece for an eleven-year-old girl, even in the 1860s. Anne's list is notable for being heavy on war poetry and Scottish authors (the latter unsurprising, however, for someone born and taught in nineteenth-century Nova Scotia).

Thomas Campbell, On the Battle of Hohenlinden

William Edmonstoune Aytoun, Edinburgh after Flodden

Caroline Norton, Bingen on the Rhine

James Thompson, The Seasons

Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake

Thomas Campbell, The Fall of Poland

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.