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Bob Lind, Published June 29 2012

Lind: Poems from grade school found with help of a friend

When Don Gunness was growing up in Abercrombie, N.D. (which was a few years ago; he’s now 84), memorizing poetry in grade school was required.

“I had to put a lot of effort into memorizing,” Don writes. “That is probably why I still remember two lines of two poems I learned in school:

“ ‘Windy March is blowing with all its might. Brooks are overflowing with foam all white.’

“And ‘The wind walks on the water and whirls the mill and talks to itself on top of the hill.’ ”

Don, who still lives in Abercrombie, says he unsuccessfully tried to find the complete poems for years. But one day he says, “The Lord laid it on my heart to call a good friend, Elaine Wold, Wahpeton (N.D.), who is a former teacher. She took the lines down and said she would check the Internet, with the help of her daughter Muriel. Within two days they found the complete poems.

“Elaine’s health is not the best, but in two days she accomplished something I have been trying to do over 70 years.”

Limited space doesn’t allow the printing of the complete poems. But here are a couple of verses from the poems Don sent in:

Little Pussy Willow

“Windy March is blowing with all its might. Brooks are overflowing with foam all white.

“Tho’ it’s cold as winter, blowy, snowy, little pussy willow came to town last night.”

Don doesn’t have the title for the second poem, but it opens this way:

“Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful world with the wonderful water around you curled, and the wonderful grass upon your breast, World, you are beautifully dressed!

“The wonderful air is over me. The wonderful wind is shaking the tree; it walks on the water and whirls the mill and talks to itself on top of the hill.”

So, thanks to these women and the Internet, Don has his poems.

But consider that when Don was a kid, if people said “Internet,” you’d think they were talking about something to help catch fish.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com


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