Poetry Wednesday: Little Lamb

Sunny and Jane started a new school year today. I belong to a fourth grader and a kindergartener, now.

This would normally have me reaching for my vast assortment of Time Keeps Slipping, Slipping Away poems, but Sunny was so excited, from her sparkle-toe gym shoes to her curly hair and Janie was so protective this morning that I couldn’t resist going for the happy, especially when I saw the images I took this morning:

I’d like to note here, that the poet of this familiar nursery rhyme was not Mother Goose, but a self-educated widow with five children who supported her family with her writing skills—in the 1820s.

After publishing poetry and several novels, Sarah Josepha Hale became the editor of Ladies’ Magazine—which in 1837, became Godey’s Lady Book, the spiritual ancestor of all influential women’s magazines—and remained so for nearly fifty years.

She promoted female writers and higher education for women throughout her career.* Her book, Woman’s Record; or, Sketches of All Distinguished Women, from “The Beginning” till A.D. 1850, was the first book solely about women’s accomplishments throughout history.

Plus she wrote a little ditty** that has become so entrenched in American culture, that I’ll bet most of you who grew up here have the tune stuck in your head right now.

Or someone’s tune, anyway:

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*Though she did think they had better things to do then vote or run businesses. Nobody’s perfect.

** I like to imagine she wrote it for her kids, to keep them from torturing the cat.