Friday, 16 August 2013

In Fervent Praise of Picnics - Sepia Saturday

I've no photos of picnics in my files and I have 'done' hats before. So I was at a bit of a lost to respond to this week's prompt.

Then I remembered the man who wrote the poem 'Little Orphan Annie' which begins ...

To all the little children - The happy ones; and sad ones,
The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
The good ones - Yes, the good ones, too, and all the lovely bad ones.

Little Orphan Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet I found this picture of the man himself>

James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)
James Whitcomb Riley, poses with a group of children on 15 May 1869  for a photo to be included in a book published for the Indiana state centennial anniversary. (Source The Chronicle of Your State in Pictures - Author Indiana State)

The American writer, poet and author was known during his lifetime as the Hosier Poet and Children's Poet for his dialect works and his children's poetry respectively.

I had only previously heard of his poem 'The Raggedy Man' which starts ...

O the Raggedy Man! He works fer Pa
An' he's the goodest man ever you saw!
He comes to our house every day
An' waters the horses an' feeds them hay.

I gather that somewhere in his poems he refers to a swimming hole; I haven't found the poems yet but I have found this - 

The Swimming Hole, Greenfield Indiana (By William Eccles)
This looks an ideal place for a picnic, don't you think?

Perhaps that's what inspired Riley to write:- 

Picnics is fun 'at's purty hard to beat
I purt'-nigh ruther go to them than_eat_
I purt'-nigh ruther go to them than go
With'our Char_lot_ty to the Trick-Dog Show

If you wonder what it's called.

It's  'In Fervent Praise of Picnics' - of course.

For more picnic snacks please make you way across to Sepia-saturday-190.


The Silver Fox said...

Love that shot of the "swimming hole."

Rosie said...

What a lovely spot indeed to have a picnic, I'm game!

Little Nell said...

Goodness, I almost had to call on google translate for that last one! That's an idyllic spot for a picnic though.

Gail Perlee said...

Indeed, what a perfect place for a picnic! I can just picture a blanket spread under the shade of the tree in the foreground. The photo is so relaxing I actually sat back in my chair for a moment & sighed. We have a duck pond nearby with shady trees all round. I'm tempted to take a picnic lunch there this very afternoon!

ScotSue said...

What a lovely and unusual "take" on this week's photo. I do like the way you sue poetry to illustrate your posts.

Wendy said...

What sweet little poems and a most clever tie-in with this week's theme.

Brett Payne said...

I love picnics, but as our kids have become teenagers and headed off to university picnics have been regarded with more and more disdain.

Jackie van Bergen said...

A clever take on the theme.
I can't imagine ever running out of photos for these prompts - mum seems to have an endless supply.

Liz Needle said...

I've never heard of 'the children's poet'. I must look him up. Thanks for this interesting post.

Alan Burnett said...

As usual, a fine tour around the theme with a pleasant picnic at the end.

anyjazz said...

Loved the poetry and photograph ties. I have not run across Riley for some time. I must find more.

Jo said...

The swimming hole looks a delightful place to have a picnic. Didn't know any of these poems.

Postcardy said...

I have a children's book of Riley's poems that belonged to my mother when I was a child.

I did a Sepia Saturday post about him here:

Mike Brubaker said...

A creative post, Bob. Though I know some of Riley's work, I had forgotten how popular he was and how suitable his poetry is for accompanying antique photos.

Joan said...

Bob, you left me smiling. Sweet poems, a poet, and a swimming hole all lead to an idyllic picnic.

Sharon said...

The poem was new to me. Very enjoyable.

Jackie said...

It looks a lovely spot to sit and have a picnic

Anonymous said...

I thought he must be English from the words he used - a real dialect, but on looking him up they describe him as writing in dialect, but which one, it sounds so English. Children would love his phonetic spelling. worter and shadder. just great ! The poems are just asking to be read out loud, and even set to country music !

PattyF said...

I love the unique take on the theme, and the poetry used to tie it all together.

Deb Gould said...

I remember the Orphan Annie Poem (when I was growing up, the kid who washed supper dishes was "the Orphan!") But I'd never seen a photo of Riley...great!

Tattered and Lost said...

This was a wonderful post. I wasn't acquainted with any of the poems. I loved all of them. And that swimming hole looks so inviting.

Margaret said...

I think it was in 1999, I traveled to Indianapolis for a celebration of James Whitcomb Riley ... brought my children as we had been studying his poetry.

I LOVE how you tied in picnic - NICE work!

barbara and nancy said...

I didn't know James Whitcomb Riley wrote that poem but it sure has stuck in my mind since childhood- at least the part about washing dishes. It was practically my only chore and I hated it. I think I probably recited it while washing them wishing Annie would come to my house to stay.


The swimming hole looks fine,
but the parking lot nearby is less than ideal...
Come over!!
I'll show you some dreamy spots!!