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  • Robert Bruce Adams

Poetry in Motion

Mary had a little lamb Whose fleece was white as snow. Everywhere that Mary went The lamb would surely go. Sarah J. Hale, 1830 YOU’VE GOT TO LOVE THESE OPENING LINES to this very popular children’s nursery rhyme that we were all raised with. It was forever immortalized by Thomas A. Edison in 1877 when the poem became the first audible words ever recorded during his experiments in his lab at Menlo Park, New Jersey. In today’s vernacular, it went viral. As a young Cub Scout in the late 1950s, I remember hearing this first recording at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan during a field trip. A needle-shaped thingamajig was placed on a tin foil wrapped object that resembled a spinning toilet paper roll. Was that ever awesome. I’m sure it was a recording of a recording, now that I think of it. I was not able to duplicate it at home, but I certainly tried several times. Toilet paper rolls were readily available thanks to our family of seven. I have shared in my writings that I like the beat found in poetry; however, I find much of the meaning of most poems very difficult and hard to figure out. Communication in this world is tough enough without confusing the audience as to what a poet is trying to convey. That is why I love this nursery rhyme. It is direct, maintains a nice rhythm, and is, oh so simple. There are no hidden meanings cloaked in complex metaphors to cause constant analysis amongst those that banter in such folly. Nietzsche, the famous German philosopher, states this position ever so clearly in his writings from this same era when he chirps, “I’m tired of the poets of the day who muddy their waters that they might seem deep.” I would suggest that this comment was certain heresy within his own intellectual ranks. Good for him. This guiding principle was one of my inspirations to take a stab at poetry. I’ve explained this in my memoirs. This insight, coupled with encouragement from a childhood friend Susan Bauer, gave me enough courage to create poems always with an eye to make them simple. Thank you both.

My Garden Bench

The old wooden bench is covered in snow Resting in my garden in peaceful solitude. Unoccupied during the long winter months It patiently waits for our warm little rumps. Robert Bruce Adams, 2017

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