Saturday, October 15, 2016

Poetry Friday: "When the Frost Is on the Punkin"

Head over to Irene Latham's blog, Live Your Poem,
for this week's round-up of poetic goodness.  
Thanks, Irene, for hosting this week!

My fourth grade teacher was Alta Llewelyn.  She had no children of her own.  She was a stickler for penmanship.  She arranged for us to be pen pals with a ship's captain that traveled regularly to Australia.  She was a demanding teacher.  She always put her lipstick on after lunch and before she put her purse away.  She read aloud every day after lunch.  She insisted that we memorize poems.  Some days snippets of those poems memorized 50+ years drift to the forefront of my memory.  This time of year I find myself reciting the first verse of the James Whitcomb Riley poem, "When the Frost Is on the Punkin."

A few years ago I discovered this lovely book illustrated by Glenna Lang in the hues of autumn and added it to my collection of poetry books.

While cleaning out files this past summer, I ran across this mimeographed copy of the poem with a line drawn after the first verse (we only memorized the first verse) and my name (written in cursive at the bottom of the page).  

And this morning I found this gem!  Take a few moments to listen to Kent Risley's recitation!


  1. Ramona, I am totally stealing this portrait of your teacher for a work-in-progress! What great details you've shared about Ms. Llewelyn. I'm so enamored I can't even think about the poem yet. ;) Thank you! xo

  2. How did I miss this? It's wonderful. I don't remember all that we memorized, but do still know most of Little Orphant Annie, also James Whitcomb Riley. Love that you found that paper, too!

  3. Ramona, this is such a great post with the remembrance of a straight-laced teacher who gave here students a wealth of poetry love. Then, you followed it up with Risley's recitation. An autumn surprise!