Thursday, February 20, 2020

A Little Cookstove Poetry

I'm sorry that I've neglected this blog so badly.  We've had a long and busy speech season, and I'm just finishing a long-term substitute teaching job at the school where I used to teach full-time.  The wood cookstove has been in daily use since October 11, though, and we have only cooked about three meals with some other method since then.  We've had quite a battle with creosote this winter, and I'm working on a long post about that which I hope will be published before the end of February.

Until then, while I was hunting material for a literary program for speech, I found a poem about wood cookstoves that I want to share with you all today.  The last time I shared a cookstove poem was back in 2012 in a post about teakettles, so  I guess that means it's not too soon for another.

This poem is from the January 1956 Ideals magazine and was written by Adam N. Reiter.

The Old Kitchen Range

It's pleasant to muse in an era of change,
On the time-honored role of the old kitchen range;
That served at the homestead for many a year
Bestowing of comfort and lending to cheer.

I well recollect where the veteran stood,
With the settee nearby and the box for the wood--
And woe to the urchin and bitter his plight,
Who failed to replenish the wood-box at night.

It made of the kitchen a place all aglow,
With homely delight that we oldsters still know.
Its smooth, polished surface resplendently shone,
And the kettle hummed softly a quaint monotone.

Not a thing in the house had the ardent appeal
Of the range, when folks were preparing a meal;
And savory odors surpassed all belief,
And coaxed forth "Old Tabby" who dozed underneath.

And who but remembers the scent, if he try,
Of wood in the oven at evening to dry:
The laughter of children disrobing for night,
And the head of the house with his old pipe alight.

Who cared for the winter, the beat of the rain,
Or the blast of the wind on the shuddering pane?
Not I, and no power could influence me,
To leave my snug place on the kitchen settee.

What tales have been spun!  What dreams of been wove!
In the "circle of charm" by an old kitchen stove:
And I doubt if man could devise for his race,
A thing of more excellence to serve in its place.

I feel like a resounding "amen" needs to be added to that last couplet.  In my humble opinion, man has yet to devise a cooking appliance that out performs a wood cookstove!