Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Clothesline by Charlotte Druitt Cole


Washing clothes is a necessary part of all our lives, and so is hanging them to dry on the clothesline. They are a thing of daily observation to many of us. Here is a poem by Charlotte Druitt Cole- a sweet one that brings us a well-known picture of the clothesline from a cheery angle. 

We had this poem in school as a part of English classes, and we had to recite it without looking for our internals. I still remember every word of it, and tried to write it from memory (verified it later, though). Poems like these- simple, in observation and in rhyme- stay with us forever.
Hand in hand they dance in a row,
Hither and thither, and to and fro,
Flip! Flap! Flop! and away they go—
Flutt’ring creatures as white as snow,
Like restive horses they caper and prance;
Like fairy-tale witches they wildly dance;
Rounded in front, but hollow behind,
They shiver and skip in the merry March wind.
One I saw dancing excitedly,
Struggling so wildly till she was free,
Then, leaving pegs and clothes-line behind her,
She flew like a bird, and no one can find her.
I saw her gleam, like a sail, in the sun,
Flipping and flapping and flopping for fun.
Nobody knows where she now can be,
Hid in a ditch, or drowned in the sea.
She was my handkerchief not long ago,
But she’ll never come back to my pocket, I know.
I also remember that this was the first time we were introduced to alliterations as a figure of speech, for the phrase 'flipping and flapping and flopping for fun'. Alliterations were an instant hit with students, and we constantly tried to make alliterations in posters and other projects to make them sound more catchy. I think that is why grammar was always introduced to us through poetry or a story. Long after it is gone, we still remember what we learnt and why. 

Hope you liked the poem! Do you distinctly remember anything you learnt in school that you can still reproduce? Share your story in the comments!

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