Friday, March 2, 2012


Image courtesy of weirdwebsites

A Pocket Full of Posies

We hold each others’ hands and sing,
“O ring around the rosie...swing!”
We love to play this silly game.
I wonder where it got its name.

Was plague the meaning of the thing?
We hold each others’ hands and sing.
A pocket full of posies will
(at least to us) mean nothing ill.

So, ashes…and we all fall down
in sailor suit or dainty gown.
We hold each others’ hands and swing:
we’re healthy as we’re chorusing

a ditty that’s been passed on from
a middle-age compendium.
That is the thought to which we’ll cling.
We hold each others’ hands and sing. 


Notes:  The form is Quatern.  Sepia Saturday provided a prompt this week of 'games' along with a vintage snapshot of some lovely Korean ladies playing a game called 'Go.'  The original archival picture was really cool, and if I have time over the weekend, I will try to write a poem for that too.  But at first blush, I had the idea in my head of old-fashioned little kids playing 'Ring-A-Round the Rosie,' and when I found the above tinted photograph, my poem really began to take shape.

Although the children's nursery rhyme 'Ring-A-Round the Rosie' is believed to be (by some) about the bubonic plague in Europe from the mid 1300s, according to Snopes, it really isn't so.  I'm kind of glad, since I'd rather it be innocent...although it's fun when you find nursery rhymes of old that were used to convey other, secret meanings.  Kind of like a game, huh?


  1. A very popular song and game, haven't we played and sung it with our children and for myself also with my grand children.

  2. I had heard that about the rhyme being about the plague too. Glad to hear it's not true.

  3. As long as the secret meanings are as lovely or happy as your poem here! Your photo is just beautiful too...very lovely colors! All nicely done! Thank you!

  4. The original rhyme was definitely about the plague. So glad that your poem is not.

  5. A couple of those children look a bit apprehensive. Perhaps they know it's about the plague.

  6. I had never heard that it was about the plague. Such info in these SS posts. That is a beautiful photo.

  7. What a lovely photo. I had heard that the Ring A Roses rhyme was connected with the plague too. Jo

  8. About the only time it is fun to fall down is when you are playing that game.

  9. What an angelic looking quartet, and a great ditty for them to sing. :)

  10. Such a sweet picture and I remember that rhyme from my childhood very well! I had always heard it was about the plague and dying so glad to hear it wasn't so.

  11. Charming picture and a verse to match!

  12. Nice work. Whenever I hear that song now I get a feeling that Freddie is not too far away.

  13. Funny, ha? And this disturbing thin line "So, ashes…and we all fall down/in sailor suit or dainty gown" just as a reality check.