What You Need to Read

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Alfred Lord Tennyson

         Here we are! The Choo-Choo Train stopped near a body of water again; but this time, it is the ocean— at least the owner thinks it is. Bring your binoculars and see if you can spot a boat. (If you are a new passenger, click here for more information about this train.) =D
            Announcement. Are you a little weary from the stuffiness of your cabins? come out to breathe in refreshing ocean breeze! The owner would also like you to appreciate this poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Note the ABAB rhyme scheme and the unique pattern of the syllables number.

        Crossing the Bar
        Sunset and evening star,
        And one clear call for me!
        And may there be no moaning of the bar,
        When I put out to sea,

        But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
        Too full for sound and foam,
        When that which drew from out the boundless deep
        Turns again home.

        Twilight and evening bell,
        And after that the dark!
        And may there be no sadness of farewell,
        When I embark;

        For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
        The flood may bear me far,
        I hope to see my Pilot face to face
        When I have crost the bar. 
        Alfred Lord Tennyson

            This is one of my favourite poems— maybe this is my number one favourite poem! “Crossing the Bar” definitely relates to the end of our Christian journey with God. To me, the first stanza tells me that we know that someday, God will call His children home; our friends and relatives should not moan for us because we will be with our Lord (first and third stanzas). Furthermore, second last line tells about a “Pilot”.  For Christians, our “Pilot” is Jesus Christ. He leads us in our journey, and even when we die. He should be the first person we hope to see when we “cros[s] the bar”.

            I hope that you enjoyed the meaningful poem. If you are interested in reading more of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poems, click here. In the meantime, the Choo-Choo Train will be chugging on to the next station!     

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Trusting In The Lord

Please read a note from the owner--oh and do not forget to bring your Bible. 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Lets Read Robert Frost

            Hello! This time, we will be stopping by the woods on a snowy evening (pun). . . Haha, get it?--> “Stopping by Wo”. . . Never mind, just ignore my lack of humour. Well, I am sure those who study American Literature knows that this is one of Robert Frost’s well-known poem. Personally, he is one of my favourites. Note his rhyme scheme of aaba (except the last stanza).   

                     Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
                           Whose woods these are I think I know. 
                           His house is in the village, though; 
                           He will not see me stopping here 
                           To watch his woods fill up with snow.

                           My little horse must think it queer
                           To stop without a farmhouse near
                           Between the woods and frozen lake
                           The darkest evening of the year.

                           He gives his harness bells a shake
                           To ask if there is some mistake.
                           The only other sound's the sweep
                           Of easy wind and downy flake.

                           The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
                           But I have promises to keep,
                           And miles to go before I sleep,
                           And miles to go before I sleep.
                           Robert Frost

            From a Christian point of view, the last stanza explains to us that God has a journey lay out for us; at the end of that journey is our Home where we can finally rest. If you are interested in reading more from Robert Frost, click here!

            Thanks for reading Robert Frost with me! As the Choo-Choo Train starts her engines again, sit back and relax!


Monday, 14 April 2014

Ogden Nash

    Hello! We are arriving at the next station. You may notice a large number of kittens laying and playing near the platform. You can pet and cuddle, but do not feed them. Do not be concerned about the crocodiles. I assure you that they are nowhere near the station. 
    Note from the owner. Do you like/love cats? I am more of a dog person. 'Tis strange how I used to love reading Garfield comics when I was young. . .maybe because he is a chubby ("chubby" sounds better and cuter than "fat") cat who loves to eat food- especially beef lasagne. I guess loving food is the only similar characteristic that Garfield and I share. Anyhoo, back to the purpose of this post. I read the poem below from A Beka Book's American Literature (page 475). It was written by Ogden Nash, and clearly explains why I am not a cat person.

                                The Kitten

              The trouble with a kitten is
              Eventually it becomes a

  Straightforward and direct. . .I love it. Haha, well apparently this kitten does not enjoy the poem.  -->

  I like to also share "The Purist" also by Ogden Nash (same page). I am a perfectionist in some ways, but. . .not like the scientist in the poem. Notice the couplet form and consistent syllables. 

           The Purist

     I give you now Professor Twist,
     A conscientious scientist.
     Trustees exclaimed, "He never bungles!"
     And sent him off to distant jungles.
     Camped on a tropic riverside,
     One day he missed his loving bride.
     She had, the guide informed him later,
     Been eaten by an alligator.
     Professor Twist could not but smile.
     "You mean," he said, "a crocodile."

     Ba ha ha! I could not help but laugh . . . and also feel sorry for his wife. Haha, excuse my Biology skills, but what is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Maybe different shapes and sizes?  

         Please board immediately. There has been an incident with the alli--crocodiles. Remain calm and board the train. We will be heading to the next stop as soon as possible. 


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Carl Sandburg

  Welcome to the Choo-Choo Train. She is a locomotive with free tickets! For further information about the places we will be heading, click "About This Train" at the top of the page.
  Our first stop will be the Poetry station! Ooo, looks like we have an unfortunate fog around us. So bring your flashlight if you want to look for bones under the sea.
 Announcement from the owner. Ever since I started to be homeschooled, I began to enjoy and appreciate traditional poetry. So far, I am able to read only simple poems…I find the harder ones more difficult to understand. Hopefully I could increase my poetry comprehension abilities!   
  At the station, I found these poems by American poet, Carl Sandburg. The first one, Fog” is a simple pleasant poem with a cute metaphor.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

 In the next poem, the speaker tells the reader to “sling” him “under the sea”…Haha, maybe I enjoyed it because I don’t mind to be buried in the ocean? Anyway… did you spot the allusion?


Sling me under the sea.

Pack me down in the salt and wet.

No farmer’s plow shall touch my bones.

No hamlet hold my jaws and speak

How jokes are gone and empty is my mouth.

Long, green-eyed scavengers shall pick my eyes,

Purple fish play hide-and-seek,

And I shall be song of thunder, crash of sea,

Down on the floors of salt and wet.

Sling me . . . under the sea.

Carl Sandburg

The last poem is actually the last stanza of “Haze”.  Carl Sandburg plants a question in the reader’s mind, “Why and how does nature behave a certain way?” Notice: personification and metaphor.

from “Haze”
Why do the prairie roses answer every summer? Why do the changing repeating rains come back out of the salt sea wind-blown? Why do the stars keep their tracks? Why do the cradles of the sky rock new babies?

Carl Sandburg

As Christians, we know that there is a loving Creator who controls His creation. =D

If you want to read more from Carl Sandburg, click here

Thanks for enjoying poetry with me. We will start our engines as soon as the haze disappears.