Monday, October 15, 2012

IGWRT's Sunday Mini Challenge & Open Link Monday "A Ferryman, Remembered"


A Ferryman, Remembered

A ferryman once strong and bold
did pole across Savannah's width
upon a flatbed, back and forth,
a life, an age, forgotten not.

A son, his quest to find his past,
did walk a path to water's edge
and sailed a boat below the dam
where once his grandpa's house did rest.

Ten children raised; livestock and crops
did nourish them.  The bottom-land
they hunted, trapped, and life prevailed.
Not mean, just tough; not rich, but poor.

A time well lived, of family,
of grit, tenacity, and love.
America's proud history,
of men and women working hard.


by Margaret Bednar,  October 15, 2012


This is for IGWRT's Sunday Mini-Challenge - a quatrain, focusing on "In Memoriam".  This was quite a juggle for me as rhythm and rhyme are things that do not come easy... and YES... I forgot the rhyme. (Sorry Kerry!)  Please give me a break, and read "livestock" with emphasis on stock :)

I DID write three other poems with rhyme and they were boring and just BAD.

I think we can safely say, a ferryman poling across a river is a thing of the past, so this loosely ties into the theme.   I am reading a book written by a fellow co-worker of my husband, Last Ride on Chamberlain's Ferry, a story about his Grandfather - and a place flooded by a dam.  I believe it will eventually be available on Amazon in soft cover and e-reader format.  HERE is an article about the book and a few excerpts from Dr. Steve Luking.

I plan on writing a poem about this book once I am done reading it, and will most likely write it in free verse.  I hope to capture a way of life most of us can not imagine, but a time that isn't really all that long ago!  So, I hope you look forward to another version!

... but thanks, Kerry, as I do think exercises like this are very beneficial and I look forward to them.

I also linked this with IGWRT's Open Link Monday as I was late getting this challenge done.

25 comments:

Hannah said...

I like those lines in which you begin with "did," I can't remember what the technical term for that approach is but you used it well...I'm going to have to look it up bc now I'm curious! Great writing...I didn't even notice it wasn't rhyming!

Mary Mansfield said...

I really enjoyed this Margaret, a great look back into our past. I truly believe it's the story of the everyday person, making their way through life, that is the essential core of our history and gives it meaning. Well done!

Heaven said...

I admire the lives and strong hands of those ferryman ~ Well done with the form, I gave up when its metered and all ~

Happy Monday Margaret ~

Margaret said...

Hannah... Let me know the technical term as, honestly, if I had noticed I repeated there, I might have rewrote it. I didn't realize it. !!!

Mary - I am fascinated with personal historical accounts such as this book. The grandfather was so poor that when a movie came to town, he would go and watch it, and then come back to his family of 10 children and retell the story. The daughter, the author's aunt, said when she finally did go to a movie theater, she was disappointed, it wasn't as good as her father's storytelling capabilities! We have truly lost the ART, for the most part, of verbal story telling!

Heaven - I truly believe you would do quiet well with this exercise!

Susie Clevenger said...

I love things with a historical theme. When I was five I went to see my great grandparents. They lived deep in the woods in Arkansas and you had to ford a stream to get to their tiny house. It didn't have electricity or running water.

Green Speck said...

I really liked the story of ferryman here ... hard working, not that rich, but happy !!!

Lolamouse said...

This was really well done! A great narrative poem (you may have forgotten the rhyme, but I forgot the narrative in mine!) Didn't miss the rhyme in yours because it had such a nice rhythm to it regardless.

izzy said...

I want you to know I LOVE ferry's!
so thanks for the poem and thanks for the postcard- My home turf! just 3/4 hour north of where I live today. Right where I used to be!

Kerry O'Connor said...

This really captures the pioneering spirit of the American people.

Daydreamertoo said...

Isn't history amazing. In our modern days and modern ways, we forget how they all used to struggle so much to survive, never mind earn a living, they had to make a living to eat.
That would have been such hard work on the muscles to ferry across the water using a pole. Lovely poem Margaret. I love all the details and, the back story just adds all the more to it.

Marian said...

three other poems! you are just an overachiever :)
i love this, you got it, the time and postcard appropriate to the form and OH BY THE WAY I LIVE HERE. i'll be driving over that river right near that site in about half an hour :)

Kim Nelson said...

It doesn't matter if this piece doesn't completely fit-to-form. You've created a multi-generational tale in just a few stanzas that educates, entertains and touches the heart.


http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/2012/10/16/flowing-example/

Laura said...

well done Margaret... I felt transported through time.

Margaret said...

Marian... that is so cool. 378 (43) is the bridge that crosses upstream... but Chamberlain Ferry Road (on the GA side) goes almost right up to the rivers edge (supposedly the old dirt road can still be seen. On the SC side, there is a Chamberlain Ferry Picnic Area. You can google it. I just love personal history like this! :)

Loredana Donovan said...

The last stanza says it all: love, family, grit, tenacity, hard work. The American Dream. What a lovely poem :)

my heart's love songs said...

i think everyone can identify with the last verse ~ that's how our ancestors built this country. i look forward to your next poem after you finish the book, Margaret!

Marian said...

okay, the image in the postcard is most definitely where i live. that's the CT river, from Northampton, Mass. and the Holyoke Range, mountains I look at every day. very cool!

Mary said...

Enjoyed this, Margaret. They had rough times, but the rough times seemed to produce strong character,

Kay L. Davies said...

I remember crossing the Rio Verde south of Acapulco in the early 70s. The ferry consisted of two canoes tied together with ropes, with boards across to hold one car or truck. There were two engines — a 50-horse Johnson and an Evinrude Ski-Twin. It was either drive onto the boards in order to reach Acapulco, or backtrack many, many miles.
I don't remember ever traveling on a ferry poled by one man, but I certainly know there were such things, Margaret. This is an excellent portrait of the ferryman and his family, a word-photo by an artist.
K

kaykuala said...

Pics and events that rekindle good times of old. This reminds one of Twain's Huckleberry! There's that certain aura and romantics of such stories that linger on. The best part is that we get to savor life of the times of different era. Thanks for the memory Marge!

Hank

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I felt you captured the feel of the time and people so well in this piece Margaret--beautifully done!

Jim said...

This is sooo nice, Margaret. I can see that pole man pushing and guiding across the way.

I like ferries. We have two still in the Houston-Galveston area. One is small, across the Houston Ship Channel and the other large and powerful across Galveston Bay.

There was a ferry that went from Big Bend National park over into old Mexico. There was a pull rope to get one across, self service. I think it would carry one car. That was back in the 70's when our life with Mexico was like it should be there. Now drugs, organized crime lords, and terrorists have us all afraid of each other.

Thanks on your San Antonio history imput. I will remember that for future blogging.
..

Margaret said...

Thank you, everyone. I just read that this ferryman didn't know how to swim!

Jim - this is in Gerogia/SC border, but I am sure TX had many a river ferry - Can't imagine such borders now with Mexico.. but, yes, it would be nice, wouldn't it to have that kind of openness again.

Rick.Daddario said...

aloha Margaret - fun to write this in a style to match your subject. i like that. cool on the image too. i take it that is a postcard? fun idea. i may have to look into my postcard collection - or... maybe that's accumulation... with this in mind. aloha.

Ginnie said...

I love how your brain works, Margaret. You're always amazing me! :)