Monday, July 1, 2013

Mother, Howard Pyle and Me

Howard Pyle, sometime poet - or, rather, writer of “jingling verses” as he called them - was also the unwitting subject of several poems. I already talked about an unpublished poem written by Joseph A. Richardson in 1883 and another written by Edwin Markham in 1900.

Now here’s one more, which I only discovered today. It’s by the Virginia-born author-illustrator-painter-stained glass artist (and “charming gadfly” according to Katharine Graham) Marietta Minnigerode Andrews (1869-1931) and it was published in the Washington, D.C. Evening Star on November 10, 1906. The credit line says it came from Andrews’ Echoes From a Washington Nursery, which I assume was a book, copyrighted that same year, but which I have, so far, found no trace. I also assume that a newspaper artist made the accompanying picture; Mrs. Andrews had been a student of Pyle’s old friend William Merritt Chase and the (very, very) little I’ve seen of her work is stronger than the crude illustration shown here.

I very much admire the style
Of tale that is told by Howard Pyle.
I think, somehow, it makes me good
To read about brave Robin Hood.

The fact is, I myself have see
That yeoman bold in “Lincoln green.”
I saw him when I went one day
With father to the matinee.

I thought the music very fine -
It made my eyes just dance and shine;
Yet by the fire I'd rather be -
Just mother, Howard Pyle and me!

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