Slice of Life Challenge – March 17 – Green Glass Beads on St. Patrick’s Day

Water nymph

Throughout my childhood, I was obsessed with one particular book. I spent hours on end reading it – – even took the flashlight into my closet so I could read it in there too and not be bothered while I was mesmerized. I not only fell in love with the words in the book, but also with the pictures – they were enchanting. I studied every detail of the pages in Childcraft Volume 1 – Poems and Rhymes – with the pink band on the gold-numbered spine.

One poem in particular was my favorite among favorites.

Overheard on a Saltmarsh by Harold Monro (14 March 1879 – 16 March 1932).

I lived near salt marshes in those days, on a coastal island in Georgia. I’d never seen any nymphs and goblins in the marshes, but I wondered – – could they really be there? How had I missed them?

Overheard on a Saltmarsh by Harold Monro

I fixated on the goblin and the nymph in the illustration. That’s a water nymph – – they often have plants growing from their heads, I learned. She’s not afraid of that ghastly looking goblin, either. She is confident in herself there in the moonlight, wearing her green gown and green glass beads.

That’s what I’d wanted to be when I grew up – a beautiful nymph with a shapely figure, wearing a flowy gown and green beads, telling my goblins NO.

And so to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day, I will not sport a shamrock. I won’t wear a green flowy gown or drink a green beer or flash a Kiss Me, I’m Irish t-shirt or paint my face green. Or get a tattoo.

Instead, I have framed my favorite childhood poem and will nymphatically wear these green jasper beads.

Hush, I stole them out of the moon.

A framed childhood favorite poem, with green beads
Special thanks to Two Writing Teachers!

Please join us at Saturday through Wednesday for the March Open Write. We’ll be writing poetry for the next 5 days. Come write with us!

14 Replies to “Slice of Life Challenge – March 17 – Green Glass Beads on St. Patrick’s Day”

  1. Happy St. Patrick Day / Nymph Day!! I love that you took time to honor a moment of your childhood by framing it. You have me thinking about what book page(s) would I frame? Have fun telling others about the beads when they ask you today!! (If free at 5pm, I’d love to see them on the zoom call I am co-hosting with Fran McCrackin).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Magical post from start to finish – love this nymph so in command of herself, and that you’ve had the poem framed with beads of green jasper…which is said to ward off evil spirits. So perfect for keeping one’s own goblins away! Most of all I love the sense of the child you were. I so see my own reflection here.

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  3. Kim, I love your dream of being like the nymph saying NO to your goblins. I’m thinking of you as that stately nymph today on St. Patrick’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim,
    That poem is both provocative and sexual. I love thinking about it as an allegory for women having body autonomy. I really like that you saved it and internalized it and have memorialized the image by framing it. I’m not familiar w/ the poem or the book, but I might need to find a copy of both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glenda, yes! I thought about the innuendos. It’s interesting ~Monro didn’t write it for children. The reviews I read said he seemed shocked that it was picked up as a children’s poem and appeared in children’s anthologies. I can see both sides – – the fascination with the mythological beings and the “tantrum” of the goblin, and then I also see the symbolism of purity and the desire the goblin has for what the beads symbolize. Different versions of Volume 1 Childcraft have different illustrations. I was able to pull this one from a google search of images.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a gorgeous poem, Kim! I am so thrilled that you shared this – looking for green glass beads is as fine a celebration of St. Patty’s as any is, I think. That poem and its “green glass beads on a silver ring” in a salt marsh had me dreaming of sea glass…I love looking for sea glass…would there be any hiding in the marsh? Now you’ve got me wondering about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maureen, sea glass! Another beautiful thing I love. I’d never scoured the shore for seaglass until I visited Rockport, Massachussetts two fall breaks ago. We went to front beach and back beach, and the pieces I found thrilled my soul. It’s such a thing of beauty. I wonder about whether it is in the marshes.


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