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Celebrating the Final Days of National Poetry Month of 2021

April 28, 2021

Celebrating the Final Days of National Poetry Month of 2021

                For one final time of National Poetry Month of 2021, I selected for this WORDWALK post three of the poems from this April’s poems-of-the-day collection.  On the “Writers’ Partyline,” the e-mail list of the national writers’ group Behind Our Eyes, I have posted at least one new poem on each day of this month.  My plan is to write one more poem for April 29 and then one closing poem for the 30th of April.  While I tried to write some shorter poems–always more challenging for me–below you will find the three selected poems, all of which are of the medium-length variety. 

* * *

Our Underwood Typewriter of 1933

poem for Day 20 of National Poetry Month by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

For twenty years, back and forth to the college

where I taught,

my guide dogs and I

walked by a Milwaukee historical marker

at the corner of 4th and State.

Sometimes, as we passed the sign

announcing the spot where the first typewriter was invented in 1867,

manufactured in 1873,

and marketed in 1874–

I fondly thought of our Underwood typewriter–

the one my grandfather gave to my mother

when she became the first in the family

to be graduated from high school.

The year was 1933, the Depression Era;

however, my grandfather, the Italian baker,

saved enough money to buy the gift for my mother.

The tall typewriter with rounded keys

is still a family keepsake.

I taught myself how to type on that treasured gift;

I wrote some of my first poems on that endearing machine.

Even though it cannot compete with a computer,

the Underwood has character and

eighty-eight years of history.

What a connection to discover that the main inventor,

Christopher Latham Sholes,

was not only a publisher, editor, city controller, and Wisconsin state senator–

but also a poet!

How interesting that the Sholes and Glidden Typewriting Machine,

following the inspiration of the “Literary Piano,”

had a first row of ivory keys and

a second row of ebony keys in a wooden frame!

How ironic that the Hall Braille Writer

led to the invention of the typewriting machine!

How precious that the first typing machine

was invented by the Italian Pellegrino Turri

for his blind friend,

the Contessa Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano!

* * *

Savings and Loan

teardrop poem for Day 23 of National Poetry Month by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

While my primary material savings from my mother

Is a myriad of afghans

which she crocheted for me

in a palette of all of my favorite colors,

What I saved from my father

was his hats.

My debonair dad was known for wearing hats:

so, in my current collection, I have

an Indy 500 cap which I gave him,

two of his Lions Club baseball caps,

the warm Russian hat he always wore in hard winter,

and, of course, a Fedora too.

However, the hat of which he would be most proud

is the one I keep with greatest care–

his Army cap which he wore during World War II,

before replacing it with the helmet

he wore as a member of the

638th Tank Destroyer Battalion.

On April 9, 1941,

he was issued the Army cap

which I treasure.

Someday, I will loan with love and memories this vintage cap

to my nephew, the Army Ranger,

so that someday,

Eric can loan with love and memories his grandfather’s Army cap

to my dad’s great-grandson–

Eric’s son–Caden,

the current kindergartener.

* * *

Silver Dreams from a Gazebo

poem for Day 16 of National Poetry Month by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

No matter what the stage of life,

dreams drift in and dreams drift out.

Dreams are dropped into a wishing well,

tossed with coins into a fountain.

Some dreams are dropped into a bucket

while some are held like a pretty nosegay in aging hands.

My dream for once-upon-a-silver-time

is to return to my homeland,

the acreage my grandfather purchased in 1914.

the former field, now extended yard,

between my home and woods,

is the perfect place for a gazebo.

I will have it built

right where the sheep shed was.

Then, when I return to my Indiana,

my guide dog and I will sit

in the wooden gazebo, painted pastel pink,

look toward the east at the gob pile–

our Blanford Mountain,

a gift from the old mining company.

How we will recall our adventures there!

Then, I will gaze to the west,

where the corn field or bean field was,

but I will smell the present pine of the evergreens.

A glance back to the south

will remind me of the walks in the woods,

the tiny creek,

Morel mushrooms, fallen leaves–

like falling memories.

Finally, I will smile upon the northern expanse–

the view of the house

that was blessed as our home.

Was I once in a hometown Heaven,

or can I go back there?

Please send a little lamb to the gazebo.

* * *

NOTE:  Beginning next Wednesday, the month of May will hold a change-of-pace for WORDWALK.  Please visit WORDWALK again for a variety of pieces during the upcoming warmer months.  Thanks for celebrating National Poetry Month with us throughout April!

Poetically yours,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow–the PAWet Laureate

April 28, 2021, Wednesday


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  1. Susan McKendry permalink

    Alice–What a job you have done this month! Your prolific poems have been a joy to read! Being a sentimental soul, I especially liked the “teardrop” poems. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    • Hi, Sue–Many thanks for your comment of both last week and this week!  I hope you are enjoying your early gardening and the sunny weather.

          I will send you an e-mail soon–I hope.

      Take care–Alice and Willow

  2. mfanyo permalink

    Dear Alice,
    How interesting to read about the history of the typewriter and your memories of our own typewriter that is in the office of my home very near our computer! I remember the typewriter being on its own special table that had been rolled into our kitchen for work on essays and term papers. Unlike you, I did not teach myself to type on it. In fact, I reluctantly took a typing class at Clinton High School only because Mother insisted that I do so. Why should I learn to type when Mother always graciously typed my papers for me? Well, thank heavens I did learn to type! Through the years, friends of the boys and now our own grandchildren have been fascinated by the Underwood typewriter from 1933 that belonged to our mother. The beautiful antique is a precious reminder of our past. I appreciate your paying tribute to it in such a lovely poem!
    All the best to you and Willow,

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