Children’s Poetry for Memorial Day

May 24th, 2013

This charming poem by Wisconsin educator Ninette Maine Lowater (1844–1932) is perfect for remembering Memorial Day with younger children. Published in 1904, it delicately addresses how the living care for and “keep alive” their dead.

What is the mood of the poem? How—and why—do Roy and his Grandma care for Grandpa as they do? What is the meaning of the last two lines? Why is the poem called “Roy’s Decoration Day”?

I brought blue violets from the dell
For Grandpa’s grave today,
For Grandma says he loved them well
Before he marched away.

The other Grandpas all are old,
With thin hair almost gray,
But he has curls that shine like gold,
And blue eyes full of play.

Grandma showed me his picture, hung
Upon a chain of gold;
How strange that he should be so young,
And she should be so old.

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