April is National Poetry month. I hope you enjoyed our earlier post of Summer by Rhea. Today I’d like to share another poem. Last year I celebrated by recording me reading Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow. I recorded it Elocution style, like you would for a program in a one-room school.
Paul Revere’s Ride
Exercise Your Memory
I have a long connection with Paul Revere’s Ride. When I was a kid I read a book that made the very reasonable argument that memory is like a muscle and recommended memorizing Lady of the Lake. It wasn’t my favorite so I decided to do it with Paul Revere’s Ride instead. I can still do big swaths of it and the whole thing with a little prompting. Ask me if you see me. Take up the challenge yourself.
Although most people know it as a stand alone piece, it’s actually part of a longer poem which is where the The Landlord’s Tale you sometimes see connected with the title comes from. It’s generally taken as literal fact, but Longfellow improved the story. There were actually two other men involved in the ride and Revere was captured before the ride was complete.
And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?
I also talk about a great children’s book And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz. It is based on the story that came down in Revere’s family about how he told the story to his grandchildren. Whether that’s true or not, it’s a great story by a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winning author.
The poem was also the inspiration for one of the most famous paintings by Iowa’s own Regionalist painter, Grant Wood. If you aren’t as familiar with it as you are with Wood’s American Gothic, I think you’ll enjoy it. Check out The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.