Page 41 - Mae Wilcox, 98 - Poet from Big Lorraine
ISSUE : Issue 59
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/1/1
(other) aunt came. "Who did that there?" She grabbed my tree. She walked it out of the door, through the field as far as she could throw it. I think I broke my heart. And another thing was, I had learned a poem about the church. And my uncle told the minister about it. And he brought me down--I wasn't very old then, 8 or 9--a beautiful wax doll. So, I just adored that doll. I never had anything like that. An? other aunt came down from Louisbourg with her little boy. She didn't mean it, to do anything. But anyhow, he was just begin? ning to cut his teeth. She took (the doll), showed--he took up the doll, and he bit both cheeks out of my doll! (You did not write poetry till you got older. But you were interested in poetry, even when you were a child.) Oh, my, I loved poetry. I'll tell you the first thing that made me interested in poetry. I was looking around--there was an old house being torn down. And I happened to go into it. And I found a couple leaves of a song, that I hadn't heard before. So I'm going to tell you that I was no more than 10 years old, if I was that. And I'll tell you the poem, the song. "Far away above the hills of old New Hampshire,/ Many years ago we parted, Ruth and I./ Through Your Nova Scotia Government Bookstore Outlet in Cape Breton Cape Breton Books First-Rate Literature A Wide Range of Bool<:s from Popular to Scholarly "THE DOWNTOWN BOOKSTORE" 361 Charlotte St. Sydney B1P1E1 539-8551 and Lewis Parker Cards: PORTRAIT OF CAPE BRETON HISTORY the trees where we wandered in the gloam? ing / 'T is there I kissed my love and said goodbye.// She came to me and trem? bled when I told her / And leaving me she begged me for to stay./ We parted, and I left her broken-hearted / In the old New Hampshire village far away.// Now the ros? es linger there"--no-- something lingered there--"And the roses are as fair / In the wild wood where together we would roam./ In the village churchyard there / Sleeps the one I love so dear / On the banks of my old New Hampshire home." I couldn't have been any more than 10 years old. After that I tried to search for poems that I could pick something out of. And I'll tell you--if you don't think it's per? haps boring--I'11 tell you the one--just before I left school. Now, I'm 98. And when I left school I was 12. And that'll tell you how old I was. And I got a first prize to this that I'm going to tell you. "A district school not far away / Mid Berkshire Hills one winter day / Was star? tled by the wanton noise / Of three score little girls and boys./ Some on tasks in? tent / And more on furtive mischief bent / But as the master's downward look / Was fastened on a copybook / Suddenly from be? hind his back / Rose sharp and clear, a rousing smack. //As though, 't was a bat? tery of bliss/ Set off with one tremen- ''1''' dous kiss./ 'What's that!' the star? tled master cried./ 'That, sir,' a little imp replied / 'Was William Wil- lett, if you please./ I saw him kiss Susanna please.'// With smile sup? pressed and birch upraised / The mas? ter thundered, 'I'm amazed / That you, our biggest pupil, should / Be guilty of an act so rude.'" (At this point in the poem Mae tucked her head down, her BOOKS ARE A GREA T GIFT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR hand to her eyes, acting out the poem. pretending to cry.) Twas she her? self, sir,' sobbed the lad. / 'I didn't mean to be so bad./ But when Susanna shook her curls / And whis- im I IN HOME nv?l HEATING • State of the art heating equipment • Trained heating technicians • Largest Fleet of Home Heating delivery vehicles • Ways to save you money • Budget Payment Plan • FREE Furnace Efficiency Tests IN SYDNEY CALL: STEVE BLUNDON I IRVING 564-6293 '' IfUlixeJLtd. • Computerized Wheel Balancing '''' • Complete Road Service IJBi 539-5670 '''' 265 PRINCE ST. • SYDNEY @IFQeodrich brunswick- QmasesmK GEORGE MacNEIL MEATS Ltd. POINT ACONI ROAD - 736-8249 736-3518 Now! is the time to fill your freezer for the long Winter ahead! • BEEF • Cut and wrapped for your freezer Front Quarter $1.69 lb. Hind Quarter $2.39 lb. • Side of Beef $1.89 lb. Fresh Pork by the Side $1.39 lb. Fresh Lamb also available at reasonable prices. Avoid Disappointment - Come Early
Cape Breton's Magazine