Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Robert Louis Stevenson gets jiggy

When I was young my mom had us do choral readings. We all sort of made fun of it at the time, but none of us have forgotten those poems. For anyone who doesn't know, a choral reading is a group reading of a poem or other text, done with voices in chorus not set to music. Some lines would be done as solo lines, in groups, or omnes, like this:



Ill try to get one of the tapes of us doing the reading because its pretty brilliant. There are a lot of family rumblings going on that are extremely funny. My older brother Stuart is constantly disrupting and making fun of everything, my brother Guy is following him all the way in all his misbehavior, I am trying to micromanage EVERYONE into behaving, and in so doing am being a crazy nazi. Its a lot. ANYWAY, one of the choral reading sets we did was "3 poems by Robert Louis Stevenson." (we said this in chorus so I remember it). I'm blanking on the 3rd, but the 1st and 2nd were poems about our shadow, and sitting on a swing, respectively. Well the other day I stumbled on this poem by R.L. Stevenson, and I thought how funny it would have been to do this one as kids.

"You Looked So Tempting In the Pew"

You looked so tempting in the pew,
You looked so sly and calm -
My trembling fingers played with yours
As both looked out the Psalm.

Your heart beat hard against my arm,
My foot to yours was set,
Your loosened ringlet burned my cheek
Whenever they two met.

O little, little we hearkened, dear,
And little, little cared,
Although the parson sermonised,
The congregation stared.

Pretty steamy eh? Robert Louis was feeling it! I am thinking I should maybe find a few more poems like this and do an ADULT version of "3 poems by Robert Louis Stevenson".

4 comments:

Jordan & Jandee said...

Hi Clark! Came across your blog and wanted to say hi, I'm so happy to see that you are well & thriving! Seem to have lost Donnie's phone number in the last year or so, please pass the love his way as well :)

Svenska & Sheaux said...

I have seen those tapes of your family, and I have to be honest, even if you were doing a steamy reading such as this, it may not have made it any more interesting. You guys were hilarious! I really need to ask your mother what she feels she was accomplishing. I guess, if nothing else, y'all were doing something as a family!

CLARK JOHNSEN said...

That's true! Good point. We were doing something together, but we were also improving our public speaking skills, learning to be more confident, and not only experiencing but also MEMORIZING great poetry. I think those are some pretty cool things actually!! Yeah those tapes are something else.

JANDEE! How are you! I'm so happy you found me. You should just look Don up on Facebook he's totally on there. Don Allison. I know he would LOVE to hear from you. He's almost done with medical school already! Crazy right?

Jordan & Jandee said...

Clark! Yes I'll have to look Don up, I'm embarrassed I've not kept up with him well as we were regular little phone buddies for quite a while, but then I guess he was swamped with Med School and me with work as well -excuses excuses! Anyway jordanandjandee.blogspot.com is the blog I update regularly, the other ones are flurries of good intentions that are deserted before too long, which as I read in your profile, you can definitely understand. Long live lovely blogger for uniting old friends!