Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whittier's "In School Days" reading

From the Eagle-Tribune:

HAVERHILL — The most romantic poem by John Greenleaf Whittier will be recited by a complete school class tomorrow at 10 a.m. in a cemetery over a grave.

The poem, "In School Days," tells of a spelling bee in which a girl outspells the boy she loves and tells him about her feelings at the end of the day.

The fifth-grade class of teacher Renee Murphy of Bradford Elementary School has memorized the poem and will recite it in unison in the Walnut Cemetery at the grave of Lydia Ayer, the neighbor girl accepted as the heroine of the poem, with Whittier as the boy.

In previous years the poem was recited at the grave on Valentine's Day, usually in cold weather. Augustus Reusch, who retired as a teacher at the Bradford school and is now curator at the birthplace, was instrumental in promoting the poem and assisting with the trip to the grave.

The public will be welcome at the recitation of the poem.

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