These two slim volumes came in the bundles of chapbooks that I bought at this autumn’s Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library book sale. As I have mentioned often and will continue to mention every day or so for a couple of weeks, they bundle a small stack of chapbooks and pamphlets together for a buck, and I cannot help but buy many of them. Something about a grab bag appeals to me–it’s like when the old record store would bundle ten 45 rpm singles fresh from jukebox duty or remainders and mark them $1.99; I bought a lot of such bundles and sometimes found something interesting (such as Madhouse). So it is with the chapbook bundles. Plus, it gives me something to look at between plays whilst watching football on Sundays–and, let’s be honest, watching football on Sundays is a pretext for me to read during the day, not purely to watch football.
At any rate, these two slim volumes are not so much chapbooks as they are holiday cards with several pages of poetry in them. The first is by Ideals magazine (See also here and and was given as a Thanksgiving greeting from Mother and Daddy in 1970. It collects a lot of poetry and photography with harvest, autumn, and Thanksgiving themes with some Christian content thanking God, not just being mindful and grateful. Given that I have Ideals magazines dealing with Autumn and Thanksgiving, I have to wonder if I’ve read some of this material before.
Prayers and Meditations is a Christmas card signed by Norm and Jan in 1988; it collects nine poems by Helen Steiner Rice, religious-themed prayers and musings about the meaning of Christmas. It’s an exclusively religous card, with thoughts and prayers about the birth of Christ and its meaning, and nothing about sleighs and family. Handy, I suppose, if you can’t find only one card with a single poem that expresses what you want about Christmas. Less expensive than a full little gift book, perhaps, and a keepsake a little more than a card. I mean, thirty years later, I read it and counted it toward my annual total.
The two of them remind me how far we are into the year already, another year almost passed, and the fact that they’re fifty-one and thirty-three years old, respectively, reminds me how far I am into life already. Bittersweet, for sure.