Hello to all! In our enrichment classes each April we always bring in a fun writing experience!
Let’s celebrate and create a POEM IN MY POCKET! Each poem you write, make it short and with meaning. You may use an index card and fold in half to fit into your pocket.
Your topics? Fun or serious. Write about the stars and the moon. The wind and the clouds. Your family. Or as you could say: “Whatever”.
We were inspired by Archibald Rutledge, born in South Carolina and from the “Rutledge and Hampton families”. The Hampton Plantation has in their lobby a display honoring Mr. Rutledge, and samples of his short “Poems in my Pocket” All were written in a sentence or two. Often when he walked in downtown Charleston, he would pass a sample out to his friends walking by.
His bio follows:
Poet, memoirist. Rutledge was born in McClellanville, South Carolina, on October 23, 1883, the son of Henry Middleton Rutledge III, an army officer, and Margaret Hamilton. Descended from a lineage of notable South Carolinians, Rutledge included among his ancestors John Rutledge, Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Thomas Pinckney.
As the title of his 1918 memoir suggests, Rutledge took life at Hampton as his literary subject, but to his national audience he spoke as the ambassador for an increasingly anachronistic Deep South. When treating the abundant natural beauty and wildlife of the Santee River delta, Rutledge crafted lyrical, engaging prose, but his homespun depictions of “my black henchmen” and their “happy blending with the plantation landscape” reflected what one colleague described as his “unreconstructed views on white supremacy.” Rutledge wore the mantle of planter paternalism, a habit of mind mirrored in his alternate reverence and ridicule of the black men and women he “inherited” at Hampton. Home by the River (1941) and God’s Children (1947) are particularly noteworthy for this tendency, which Rutledge dis- cussed under the rubric of “dusky dilemmas.”
Rutledge retired from Mercersburg Academy in 1937 and returned to Hampton, which he had inherited from his father in 1923. With the help of the plantation’s black laborers, he lovingly restored the house and grounds, which once had played host to Francis Marion and George Washington. Rutledge died on September 15, 1973, at Little Hampton, his home in McClellanville. He is buried with his sons Archibald Jr. and Henry Middleton at Hampton Plantation, which he bequeathed to the state of South Carolina. Located sixteen miles south of Georgetown on U.S. Highway 17, it is open to the public as Hampton Plantation State Historic Site. In 1999, Rutledge was posthumously inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors.
Samples of his poems can be found at:
It takes solitude under the stars, for us to be reminded of our eternal origin and our far destiny.