Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Where Are You Going and What Do You Wish?" : A Look at Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene Field

This is another of my favorite poems. I first heard it on an episode of "Sharon, Lois, and Bram" (please tell me I'm not the only one who watched that show) when I was very, very small and I've loved it ever since. It was the first time I can remember being surprised by an ending--I still think of it as a twist. I gained a whole new appreciation for it two years ago when I experienced very bad insomnia for the better part of October. I was very frightened and unsettled and then I discovered this version of the poem on YouTube--see below. It's sung by Wendy Craig off an LP (!!!) from the 70's (hence the scratchy sounds in the background). It's the poem in full set to music and for some reason, it was the only thing that could get me calm enough to sleep at night. Even if I hadn't loved the poem before, this would have made it one of my favorites. I had it memorized pretty fast, so I started saying it to my ceiling at night and I was usually asleep by the last verse. Worked like a charm. Truly the perfect lullaby

If you haven't heard or read it before, check it out. It's really a beautiful poem and I love how Wendy Craig sings it.

My favorite part:
"’T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ’t was a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea—
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod."

P.S. I've always wanted to use "Where are you going and what do you wish?" as a title, but it sounds so much like Joyce Carol Oates's "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Very, very different story. So it will have to do for a title here.

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