My mind, like most minds I suspect, works in awkward ways. I’ll be walking between rooms, perhaps toting a load of laundry to the wash room, when a phrase or a snippet from a poem will pop into my head. I might forget I have Studly’s dirty socks clutched in my arms for a second or two as I try to recall the entire verse or the poet who penned it. That exact scenario played out this morning.
There I was, minding my own business with assorted laundry items in hand, when the words There was a little girl, trickled through my consciousness. Cute nursery rhyme, I thought followed closely by, I’d never have used forehead to rhyme with horrid. Poetic license. Hmm.
My next thought had to do with the pungency of Studly’s socks. I continued on my way and started the washing machine. Maybe I remembered to add detergent and maybe I didn’t—my mind was on that little girl. I googled the first line of the poem and this came up:
There was a little girl
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow authored this little poem? C’mon man. The same guy who gave us the epic poems The Song of Hiawatha and Paul Revere’s Ride also wrote a six line poem about a little girl whose forehead rhymed with horrid? Maybe I knew that at one time, but as I’ve already noted, my mind is easily distracted.
Anyway, well done, old chap. I never mastered memorizing Hiawatha, but with a little more work I’m sure I’ll have There Was a Little Girl memorized within the week. Maybe.