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Old Winters On the Farm
James Whitcomb Riley


I have jest about decided
It 'ud keep a town-boy hoppin'
Fer to work all winter, choppin'
Fer a' old fireplace, like I did!
Lawz! them old times wuz contrairy! --
Blame' backbone o' winter, 'peared-like,
WOULDN'T break! -- and I wuz skeered-like
Clean on into FEB'UARY!
Nothin' ever made me madder
Than fer Pap to stomp in, layin'
In a' extra forestick, sayin'
"Groun'hog's out and seed his shadder!"

This poem is in the public domain.


James Whitcomb Riley (1849 - 1916) was an American poet best known for his children's poems and dialect-based verses. James was born in Greenfield, Indiana, and later moved to Indianapolis; homes in both cities are preserved and open to the public today. James was hugely popular during his lifetime. A bestselling author who traveled the country speaking to sell-out crowds, he never married or had children of his own, but he loved children and they loved him back. When he died, more than 35,000 people came to pay their respects as James lay in state under the Indiana capitol dome. 

Post New Comment:
Very fitting choice for the day!
Posted 02/02/2024 11:36 PM
Larry Schug:
I've been heating my house with firewood for close to fifty years. Somehow poetry remains after all those jobs that Darrell describes. Things have not changed much, Jim.
Posted 02/02/2024 05:48 PM
I love the "Uncle Remus" feel.
Posted 02/02/2024 12:08 PM
Excellent and humorous
Posted 02/02/2024 11:56 AM
Tom Sharpe:
Enjoyed the language and topic. Hard work will adjust your perception of life. You learn to appreciate the little things.
Posted 02/02/2024 10:22 AM
Darrell Arnold:
This one made me chuckle, because I, like Jayne's husband, have spent a major portion of both my summer and my winter so far, dealing with firewood -- gathering, cutting, splitting, stacking, hauling, and burning. It is just part of living for us. And I am, like ol' Jim here, not particularly thrilled by an extended winter. Further, I find the dialectic writing difficult to follow, but I do enjoy the unusual way he has constructed his metering and rhyming. Fun poem.
Posted 02/02/2024 08:55 AM

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