Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Early Literary Influences - The Golden Treasury of Poetry

What better way to stimulate the imagination than with a diverse collection of poetry. Between the covers of this 1959 gem you'll find such flights of fancy as T. S. Eliot's The Gumbie Cat, bold epics like Sir Walter Scott's Lochinvar, and romantic tales from the likes of Lord Alfred Tennyson, author of Lady Clare.

I must admit that one of my personal favorites was Lone Dog by Irene Rutherford McLeod. Wild dogs were a fact of life in the farming community I grew up in, where people dumped unwanted animals down lonely dirt roads. Many formed packs. At night I could hear their mournful cries, and worried for those poor creatures. This poem captures that memory. The verses tell of a wild dog, not a pitiful abandoned pet, but a master of his own destiny who considers himself above the average lap dog. My grandaughter lovingly copied out the words by hand when she heard how I loved this poem, and now it hangs in my cube at work. 

My absolute all time favorite selection from this volume has to be the tragic romance of The Hiwayman, by Alfred Noyes. Now I enjoy the tale as a song by Loreena Mckinnett. 

I apologize, the only version I could find has an ad at the beginning, but it's well worth the wait if you ask me. She's done full justice to this haunting tale. 

At eleven years old, I'd read a while, ask my mother tons of questions, and come back to read some more. I loved The Golden Treasury of Poetry, and filled many notebooks with poetry of my own. The best part of all, though, it that this very same book is now on my grandaughter's bookshelf, cherished for a third generation. 

The lovely illustrations are a wonderful bonus. 


  1. I liked the video very much (hard to hear over the mall noise). Very sweet how the books & stories are being passed down. (& you are way too young and sexy to have grandkids... just saying!) Hugs, Z.

  2. Awww....Thanks! Both my grandkids are writers. I'm so very proud of them.