Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Before She was Famous

During Dr. Prenshaw’s presentation she mentioned limericks Miss Welty wrote for a friend traveling from Jackson to Chicago then on to New Jersey. That friend was Frank Lyell and she did this little fun exercise for him in 1933. She surprised him with a limerick for each stop such as the one below for Winona, MS.

There was an old girl of Winona
Who lived in a pongee Kimono-
When the Lion’s Club came thru
She politely withdrew,
That delicate gal of Winona.

Here’s an opportunity to teach limericks to a class of youngsters. One could introduce Miss Welty’s work found in Early Escapes, edited by Patti Carr Black (133), and then assign them the task of writing one from a plethora of Mississippi towns.

If anyone sponsors a yearbook or school newspaper club, Early Escapes might again come in handy. Editor Black writes, “…Eudora contributed poetry, short fiction and nonfiction pieces, and pen-and-ink drawings to The Quadruplane, the school annual, and the school paper, Jackson Hi-Life. Her first work published in The Quadruplane appeared in 1922, her freshman year.” (12) The book is filled with everything Black mentions, and if used as an example, might inspire the next great Mississippi writer.

You can read my Book Talk written for this book here and a review by Tracy Carr (pdf 26) for the Mississippi Libraries here.

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