Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hello beloved Bluebell readers! So glad you could be here on the eve of a rather momentous oddity in the Gregorian calendar we know as Leap Year.

That's right, tomorrow the month of February will rock on for one extra day. So for all us celebrating this day only tomorrow until the year 1216..........

I bring you a Leap Year poem. One that you already know and can recite from memory but which nevertheless contains a bit of mystery....

Leap Year Poem
By Mother Goose

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone,
And that has twenty-eight days clear
And twenty-nine in each leap year.

Yes! You can recite this and have since childhood can you not?

So where's the mystery you ask? Well not so fast! Did you know this poem was attributed to Mother Goose? If you say yes then I will believe you because I have learned that Bluebell readers are one smart crowd but I sheepishly did not know this!

So on with the mystery of what else I did not know....

I did not know a thing about Mz Goose. So off I went to search out her bio and lo and behold therein lies the mystery. Who was she really?

Mother Goose is often cited as the author of hundreds of children’s stories that have been passed down through oral tradition and published over centuries. Various chants, songs, and even games have been attributed to her, but she is most recognized for her nursery rhymes, which have been familiar with readers of all generations. Her work is often published as Mother Goose Rhymes.

Despite her celebrated place in children’s literature, the exact identity and origin of Mother Goose herself is still unknown. Some believe that the original Mother Goose was a real woman who lived in Boston during the later half of the 17th century. After being widowed by Isaac Goose, a woman named either Elizabeth Foster Goose or Mary Goose (depending on sources) moved in with her eldest daughter, entertaining her grandchildren with amusing jingles which quickly gained popularity with the neighborhood children. According to the legend, her son-in-law, a publisher, printed her rhymes, and thus the reputation of Mother Goose was born. Her grave is a tourist stop in Boston Mass (USA) to this day.

However, literary historians often dismiss the possibility of a Bostonian Mother Goose, as the existence of various French texts that refer to Mother Goose at a much earlier date make the American legend improbable. These texts, dating as early as 1626, even show that the French terms “mere l’oye” or “mere oye” (Mother Goose) were already familiar to readers and could be referenced. The figure of Mother Goose may even date back as the 10th century, according to other sources. In an ancient French legend, King Robert II had a wife who often told incredible tales that fascinated children.

Regardless of Mother Goose’s origins, Charles Perrault was the first to actually publish a Mother Goose collection of rhymes and other folk tales in 1697, essentially initiating the fairy tale genre. With the subtitle Les Contes de ma Mère l'Oie (Tales of my Mother Goose), the collection quickly gained popularity all over France. By 1729, Perrault’s collection had been translated into English, in the form of Robert Samber’s Histories or Tales of Past Times, Told by Mother Goose. Samber’s volume was eventually republished in 1786 and brought to the U.S.
source: The Poetry Foundation

Here is the 2011 latest rendering of the renown but ever mysterious works of Mother Goose. If you know someone about to bring a baby into this world, what better gift than a book? What better book than this classic? Which can be purchased many places including Amazon.

Happy Leap Year to all my fellow Bluebell readers. Keep reading and I will see you right back here in March!


Taylor Boomer said...

excellent, Indie.

Indie said...

Wow Taylor! You are fast tonight!

Thank you SO much for all your support and encouragement.


Bluebell Books Twitter Club said...

welcome, Indie,

we wil call ourselves Bluebell Books Twitter Club.

enjoy the new feel of it.
keep it up.

you are a gem.