Poem for April 11, 1922: Hubby Says No!

Team of seventeen-year-old mares pulling a load of hay, 1940

Today’s photo doesn’t match the poem, except that it was taken in South Dakota and, given the winter we’ve just had, I thought it would be interesting to see how farmers fed their livestock in heavy snow in 1940.

The poetry prompt for today is to write an Anacreontic poem, which is usually about love and wine and akin to a drinking song. Given that Hattie was not much of a drinker, I’ve adapted her entries for April 9 and April 11, 1922 using very loose Anacreontic verse (seven syllables per line) for a kind of anti-Anacreontic poem. Hattie and Will would have been married only four years in 1922 and living near Spencer, Nebraska. The funeral in Ponca was over 100 miles to the east.

April 11, 1922: Hubby Says No!

Uncle Jim Herman fell down
stairs on Sunday and broke his
neck, was buried today at
Ponca Cemetery. My
duty to go but hubby
says No! and so No! it was.

Team of seventeen-year-old mares pulling a load of hay, 1940 (Public Domain, BIA, ARC Identifier: 285298)
Team of seventeen-year-old mares pulling a load of hay, 1940 (Public Domain, BIA, ARC Identifier: 285298)
April 9, 1922
April 9, 1922
April 11, 1922
April 11, 1922

A Spring Calving Poem

Mother and Calf

Here is a recap of this month’s poems so far. As a reminder, they are all found poems based on the early 20th century diaries of my great aunt Hattie:

Today’s poem is based on Hattie’s April 1957 entries, from the last year of her diaries and the middle of a snowy spring calving season. Note for line 16 that “cast wethers” was once a common term for a prolapsed uterus.

April 1957: Frankie

Storm is forecast
Snow and wind
In east barn-lot
Calves play among cows
As if it was fun
Frankie and Clarence
Spend all their time
Pulling and fussing
One born outside
Just before dark
Clarence and boys
Got it in barn
Pulled one dead
Made men sick
But cow is alive
One had wethers out
Clarence and Frankie
Sewed back in
Twins born this night
Cow on the fight so
Left one calf with mother
Brought one to barn
Drinks milk from bottle
A cow with dead calf
Must have had twins as
Came back with a calf but
Bawls for dead one
Frankie gets meals
Hangs washing
Brings milk and chicken feed
Helps with calving
She needs a new pair
Of leather gloves.

Mother and child reunion
“Mother and child reunion,” by Rachel Kramer (CC BY 2.0)

April 10, 1957

April 9, 1954: Looking for Lloyd Gransinger


April 9, 1954: Looking for Lloyd Gransinger

(Found poetry adapted from The Great Plains Diaries of Harriet E. Whitcher. See the original diary entry after the poem.)

Planes scouting low today
looking for Lloyd Gransinger
and brother Leon, stole two cars
Nebraska Patrolman Marvin Hansen
found them. Hansen shouted several times
for him to halt but no do.
Lloyd jumped from car, ran for brush
twenty-five minutes later Hansen
died on way to town, shot in stomach.
Help was right from everywhere.
Leon cuffed but Lloyd got away.
Search was on all night, no find.
At daylight several hundred men
everywhere looking
on foot, horseback, cars
that was the planes passing over today.
Lloyd found in brush and trees
along Niobrara River, no gun, no resistance.
It seems Welela Post Office
robbed last night, they had cash box
no doubt was them.
I was worried but news said
all was fixed and men in jail.

~ Lisa Rivero

Photo by Sumeet Jain (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Niobrara River, photo by Sumeet Jain (CC BY-SA 2.0)

April 9, 1954

April 9, 1954, part 2

Found poetry: April 8, 1945


Today’s National Poetry Writing Month prompt is to rewrite a famous poem. I didn’t really rewrite a poem, but I did use William Carlos Williams’ “This Is Just To Say” as a jumping off point for today’s found diary poem.

April 8, 1945: We Had a Lot Of

roast beef
mashed potatoes
pork and beans

baked beans
potato salads
noodles and chicken
macaroni and meat

homemade butter

pies of
pineapple, apple
raisin, plum


several kinds of cakes

Circle of Jacob van Es Still Life with Meat Pies, a Roast Fowl, Olives, Capers and Strawberries
Circle of Jacob van Es (circa 1596–1666) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
April 8, 1945

April 7, 1953: Korczak Ziolkowski

Sitting Bull

Click here to read the original diary entry upon which this found poem is based. Read more found poetry at The Hattie Diaries.

April 7, 1953: Korczak Ziolkowski

These days all the news is
relatives of Sitting Bull
from Wounded Knee
Shawnee County
and others of Mobridge
want his bones moved.
Sculptor of Crazy Horse
who carves stone images
of noted folks will carve
Sitting Bull Monument.
I cannot spell his name.

See Also

April 7, 1953

Sitting Bull Monument, photo by Brandon Dalton (CC BY 2.0)
Sitting Bull Monument, close
Sitting Bull Monument, photo by Brandon Dalton (CC BY 2.0)