Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A June Wedding, Graduation & Anthologies

     Yesterday morning my cousin, Elizabeth posted a picture of her parents on facebook . It is one of those wonderful   photos from a time long gone showing a young couple clearly in love with one another. In my opinion this is one of the great  photos, and  without prejudice think  Aunt Myrtle (Suzy) Cooney and Uncle Bob Breedlove look movie star glamorous !  They were childhood sweethearts growing up in Council Bluffs, Iowa,  and married June 11, 1941. Along with their three children, Aunt Suzy and Uncle Bob shared an exciting life together - living in Germany, New York, Maine and Mexico.

     My aunt and uncle were soul mates, and by all accounts their marriage was one made in heaven, they were a very dear couple,  perfectly suited to each other.  Perhaps ,  that's why they chose the month of June to make their vows.  June is named for Juno , Roman goddess of marriage. Ever since  Plurarch in the ancient  days of the Roman Empire  implied June was the most favorable month for weddings,  June has been considered 'bridal' month.

     June was also  considered  commencement month in years past,  when seniors  graduated high school.  After breakfast this morning  I  pulled  The Treasure Chest from my book shelf - an anthology of 1,064 familiar and  inspirational quotations, poems, sentiments, and prayers from great minds of 2500 years.  It's a book I often   browse through , but this day I took extra time in reading the inscription, Kathleen Cooney Graduation gift from Grandma Cooney  June 13, 1968. 

   The first thing that came to mind was, "Oh, my!, can it really be  45 years since I graduated high school!".  The next thing I studied was the inscription written in my  grandma's own hand, and how familiar her cursive writing  was to me. I  thought about her love of poetry, and her  joy in  sharing that love with others, especially her children and grand-children.  It's  a rich heritage she left to us.

    From The Treasure Chest are two  that touch my heart.  I'm pretty sure they would be favorite's of my grandmother, too.

To reach the port of heaven we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it 
- but we must sail, not drift or lie at anchor   Oliver Wendell Holmes

    My Creed  by Howard Arnold Walter

I would be true, for there are those
who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care.
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer,
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend to all - the foe, 
the friendless;
I would be giving , and forget the gift.
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up  - and laugh - and love - and lift

    According to Wikipedia,  anthologies became important in the twentieth century as a part of poetry publishing, i.e. for English poetry, the Georgian poetry series was trend-setting; it showed the potential success of publishing an identifiable group of younger poets marked out as a 'generation'.   Some publishers  found anthology publication a more flexible medium than the collection of a single poet's work.  I have several in my personal library:  Anthology of American Poetry, A Treasury of GREAT POEMS English and American compiled by Louis Untermeyer, Idaho's Poetry A Centennial Anthology edited by Ronald E. McFarland and William Studebaker.

    Another favorite anthology is one belonging to my mother, Lenora - one  given to her by Grandma Cooney  in the early years of her marriage to my dad -  books she still cherishes, and reads.    Memorial Edition Anthology of the World's Best Poems compiled by Edwin Markham Vol 1-6  . I was still a very little girl when mother  would read poems  to me each night from  one  those  small maroon  books with the  gold leaf binding. It was from her sweet voice,  I first   learned of Eugene Field's Little Boy Blue, and  Wynken, Blynken,  and Nod, and  The Duel staring the gingham dog and calico cat who side by side on the table sat, and was completely  enthralled.


    Anthologies shouldn't be overlooked as a source for writers - they provide a wide range of expression and writing style. The anthology may be a collection of essays, short stories, poems, or plays, and are a worthwhile addition to any home library.







Anonymous said...

I love to read stories that make you feel good and this one sure does. Thank You so much!


Elizabeth Breedlove said...

Thanks Cousin! My memories of Suzy & Bob is that they were pretty much happy most of the time. A good thing, that. A bar raised for my own life, with solid role models. Love, Elizabeth