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Cybele
HISTORY FOR KIDS

GREAT FIRE OF LONDON

A fateful day in history
in Sixteen Sixty Six
when Farynor’s forgetfulness
reduced a town to sticks.

The King’s own master baker’s
life would never be the same,
for the fire that burnt old London down -
he’s the only one to blame.

The puddin-headed nincompoop
confessed that he remembers
being very tired that night;
- forgot to damp the embers.  

Flames roared and leapt from house to house
across thatched roofs they flew
while Farynor in disbelief
watched as the wild wind blew

and down the streets the scurrying rats
all tried to flee the flames,
but ended up by drowning
in the murky River Thames.

And so dear reader bear in mind
with all that burning wood
the plague that killed so many
was banished now – for good!

So, is Farynor a hero
or just a simple fool?
After all the heated argument,
the result was really cool.



HOORAY FOR HISTORY!




jgdittier
Dear Grace,
This should be a topic in every British grammer school!
Posting it in firey red adds to the impact as does the
Pied Piper aspect.
If history could be taught so joyfully, we'd not repeat our mistakes.
Grace, it's really cool!
Cheers,   jgd   Ron
Toumai
Wow, Grace

What a wonderful tweak of the ten times poem to get this brilliant tale for children. I shall try it out on mine later.

I love the "puddin-headed" baker rofl.gif

and the rats escaping flames to drown in the Thames  :pharoah2

Fran
Psyche
HA, Grace, I caught you with your fingers in the fire !! Have you re-incarnated from Farynor?! How come you know so many details?! And all cleverly laid out in red-hot verse !!

(you should be sent to the Tower, Grace... Jester.gif )

And so dear reader bear in mind
with all that burning wood
the plague that killed so many
was banished now – for good!

So, is Farynor a hero
or just a simple fool?
After all the heated argument,
the result was really cool.


This humorous poem makes one think deeply, dear me... It was a cleansing fire, after all, fire has always been considered cleansing since way back in mythology. And we may all be cleansed by fire eventually, if we read Revelations... Your poem reminds me that I read Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague in London only last year. I believe the man lived through the Great Fire, but didn't actually experience the plague.

But what happened to Farynor, Grace? Did he survive, was he punished? Or, as you so well ask us, was he a hero or a simple fool? My guess is that he forgot to dampen the embers because he'd jumped into some pretty chambermaid's bed... maybe both of them drunk on hot punch stolen from the King !!  :jester:

Yes, this is how history should be taught !! I agree with Ron.

Hugs & thanks for the great read,
Sylvia  :grinning:
Cybele



Hello Ron,


QUOTE
This should be a topic in every British grammer school!
Posting it in firey red adds to the impact as does the
Pied Piper aspect.
If history could be taught so joyfully, we'd not repeat our mistakes.
Grace, it's really cool!



Thank you for your kind remarks Ron. This was really fun to write. dance.gif
It is adapted from a piece in the Ten Times Challenge for 22nd October.

I have really become interested in writing poetry for children just lately and History just struck me as a perfect subject to try to lighten up. It was totally boring when I was at school and I only wish I could have written such pieces when my own children were young.

Nevertheless, I have grandchildren whom I hope will get a laugh out of History for Kids.

I have written another about Christopher Columbus and shall post it after the 3 day period.


I am open to suggestions for any historical event if you have one to
proffer?
Cybele
Hi Fran, sun.gif

QUOTE
Wow, Grace

What a wonderful tweak of the ten times poem to get this brilliant tale for children. I shall try it out on mine later.


Thank you Fran ~ and good for you. James thinks he might write it from the rats point of view. I wonder why that doesn't surprise me" LOL.gif

QUOTE
I love the "puddin-headed" baker


Yes, just a nod to Pudding Lane  ???

QUOTE
and the rats escaping flames to drown in the Thames.


Yeah! I liked that too ~ best place for 'em in my opinion!  hsdance.gif

I have written one on Columbus already. Got to wait three days to post it though. Looking for other historical events. Any ideas Fran?  
Nina
Hi Grace

Well done tweaking this, the children will love it and it is definitely a better way to learn history than from a boring textbook.

my only query is

The King’s own master baker’s
life would never be the same,
for the fire that burnt old London down -
he’s the {only} one to blame.
 

You don't need to wait 3 days anymore before posting, only the day after tomorrow.

Thoughts for other history subjects:

Florence Nightingale
Henry VIII
Guy Fawkes
Evacuation in WWII
Viking or Roman invasion
Battle of Hastings


Have fun

Nina
JLY
Grace,
I found this piece of history to be both informative and a bit amusing.  You managed to teach me something in a style that was a joy to read.  
Liked the flow and of this; was a smooth, easy read.

It seems as though everyone is asking you to go back in history several centuries...how writing about some 20th century happenings.

JLY
Cathy
Hi Grace,

This is so great!  If we could have been taught lessons in this
form I might be a historian!  lol

A suggestion or two: {omit}[add]

A fateful day in history
in Sixteen Sixty Six
when Farynor’s forgetfulness
reduced a town to sticks.

The King’s own master baker’s
life would never be the same,
for the fire that burnt old London down - I keep wanting to read "old London town"  lol
he’s the only one to blame.

The puddin-headed nincompoop  I love this line!
confesses he remembers
that being very tired {last}[that] night  You're writing about history and reading "last night" doesn't sound right to me.
- forgot to damp the embers.  

Flames roared[,] {and} leapt from house to house
across thatched roofs they flew
while Farynor in disbelief
watched as the wild wind blew[.]

{and} [D]own the streets the scurrying rats
all tried to flee the flames,
but ended up by drowning
in the murky River Thames.

And so dear reader bear in mind
with all that burning wood
the plague that killed so many
was banished now – for good!

So, is Farynor a hero
or just a simple fool?
After all the heated argument,
the result was really cool.

I was almost afraid to offer suggestions cause it seems every one felt it was fine as is.  lol  Just toss them if you don't want to use them.

Cathy sprite.gif
Cybele

Hi Sylvia,  sun.gif
QUOTE
HA, Grace, I caught you with your fingers in the fire !! Have you re-incarnated from Farynor?! How come you know so many details?! And all cleverly laid out in red-hot verse !!


No, m'dear, I have just become fascinated by history. Truth or fiction? Hard to tell.

It's official! I have just entered my second childhood. LOL.gif


QUOTE
(you should be sent to the Tower, Grace...  )


Oh surely not? I haven't committed treason - not yet anyway!:rofl:

QUOTE
And so dear reader bear in mind
with all that burning wood
the plague that killed so many
was banished now – for good!

So, is Farynor a hero
or just a simple fool?
After all the heated argument,
the result was really cool.

This humorous poem makes one think deeply, dear me... It was a cleansing fire, after all, fire has always been considered cleansing since way back in mythology. And we may all be cleansed by fire eventually, if we read Revelations... Your poem reminds me that I read Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague in London only last year. I believe the man lived through the Great Fire, but didn't actually experience the plague.


Yes, I have been dabbling in Pepy's diary. What a naughty old man he was, and by his own admission!  blush21.gif

QUOTE
But what happened to Farynor, Grace?

Did he survive, was he punished? Or, as you so well ask us, was he a hero or a simple fool? My guess is that he forgot to dampen the embers because he'd jumped into some pretty chambermaid's bed... maybe both of them drunk on hot punch stolen from the King !!
 

Well, that seems to have been left in the air. His whole family and staff escaped ~ except for the maid! Say no more!  detective.gif

QUOTE
Yes, this is how history should be taught !! I agree with Ron.


I was invited to visit the local school to talk to the 9 year olds about poetry. The first visit went down very well after I swallowed my fear at the sight of 25 scrubbed little faces hanging on my every word. huh.gif

I am now trying to compile a potted History for Kids for my next visit. The most astounding thing was that the teacher told me I had captured the attention of one of her under-achievers, whose hand shot up continuously to ask questions. I can't explain how marvellous that made me feel.  cloud9.gif

Glad you enjoyed this Sylvia. I hope the children do.  oops.gif
Cybele
Hi John, sun.gif

QUOTE
I found this piece of history to be both informative and a bit amusing.  You managed to teach me something in a style that was a joy to read.  
Liked the flow and of this; was a smooth, easy read.


Thank you John. Let's hope the children enjoy it too.

QUOTE
It seems as though everyone is asking you to go back in history several centuries...how writing about some 20th century happenings.


Ah! but John. The whole point of this exercise is that History is such a dull subject. Lists of dates and Kings and queens are particularly boring. I feel I would like to put a spark back into it (not to start another conflagration you understand   ???  ) but just to try to capture the children's interest.

There are lots of lovely stories to play around with to keep me busy.

Care to try your hand at 20th century history?
Cybele

Hi Nina,  sun.gif

QUOTE
Well done tweaking this, the children will love it and it is definitely a better way to learn history than from a boring textbook.


Thank you Nina, I hope so.

QUOTE
my only query is

The King’s own master baker’s
life would never be the same,
for the fire that burnt old London down -
he’s the {only} one to blame.  


I inserted 'only' because there were rumours of all sorts of conspiracies discussed in Parliament. There had even been a protestant watchmaker who confessed to setting the fire along with 17 other men, but this was discounted as the man was a simpleton.


QUOTE
You don't need to wait 3 days anymore before posting, only the day after tomorrow.


Thanks Nina, I had been following this discussion but hadn't realised the new rule had actually been adopted.

QUOTE
Thoughts for other history subjects:

Florence Nightingale
Henry VIII
Guy Fawkes
Evacuation in WWII
Viking or Roman invasion
Battle of Hastings


Thank you Nina, some great prompts here (although Florence Nightingale's true story might be a little difficult to convey to children. I didn't learn the whole story until I left school and it is quite different to the one we were taught there.) I shall be tackling one of them next. Now let's see. eeny meeny miney mo! LOL.gif
Cybele


Hi Cathy,  sun.gif

QUOTE
This is so great!  If we could have been taught lessons in this
form I might be a historian!  lol


Thank you - me too! I was so bored with history in school.  dunce.gif


QUOTE
The King’s own master baker’s
life would never be the same,
for the fire that burnt old London down - I keep wanting to read "old London town"  lol
he’s the only one to blame.


Yes, I see what you mean and it is perfectly understandable Cathy but I have already used 'town' on the first stanza and even then it is not technically correct. In 1666 London was the largest CITY in the world.

QUOTE
The puddin-headed nincompoop  I love this line!


Yes, I didn't want to actually mention that the fire started in Pudding Lane and I thought that expression might bring up a question and spark some interest! (No literal sparks mind you!  Jester.gif  )


QUOTE
confesses he remembers
that being very tired {last}[that] night  You're writing about history and reading "last night" doesn't sound right to me.
- forgot to damp the embers.  


You are quite right Cathy and I have altered the tense. This perspective was looking at history immediately after the fire had died out.



QUOTE
Flames roared[,] {and} leapt from house to house
across thatched roofs they flew
while Farynor in disbelief
watched as the wild wind blew[.]

{and} [D]own the streets the scurrying rats
all tried to flee the flames,
but ended up by drowning
in the murky River Thames.


I know I have used extra 'and's here, but children prefer poetry with more of a lilt. It makes it easier for them to read, or so their teacher informs me, so in this series I shall be aiming for a sing-song rhythm. these two stanza are one continuous part of the story, so no capital required for the second stanza.



And so dear reader bear in mind
with all that burning wood
the plague that killed so many
was banished now – for good!

So, is Farynor a hero
or just a simple fool?
After all the heated argument,
the result was really cool.

QUOTE
I was almost afraid to offer suggestions cause it seems every one felt it was fine as is.  lol  Just toss them if you don't want to use them.


Oh no Cathy, please don't think that! The reason for posting here is for constructive criticism from my friends. I never consider a poem perfect, even months later I find myself reviewing and making alterations, as I am sure you do also?  detective.gif

This is a new experiment for me and I am groping about in the dark trying to find the right balance, so when I explain why I have done something  it is to find out whether it comes across correctly. So crit away - I have very broad shoulders! rofl.gif
Don
Hi Grace,

Guy Fawkes Day seems like a subject apopose for a ditty.

I add my pence to say your muse treats us very well.  

Of course, every major fire is a cleansing for rebirth. If the fire had not been due to the puddin-head baker, it might have been the looney lantern maker.

I was under the impression rats could swim.  No matter regarding your poem.

Thanks for the jolly read.

Don
Cybele
Hi Don,

QUOTE
Guy Fawkes Day seems like a subject apopose for a ditty.


I have just finished Guy Fawkes History for Kids Don but can't post it till tomorrow.

QUOTE
I add my pence to say your muse treats us very well.  



Thank you kindly sir. blush21.gif

QUOTE
Of course, every major fire is a cleansing for rebirth. If the fire had not been due to the puddin-head baker, it might have been the looney lantern maker.


Lovely lilting rhyme there Don LOL.gif

QUOTE
I was under the impression rats could swim.  No matter regarding your poem.


Ah well! If Robert Browning can drown 'em ~ so can I!:rofl:

QUOTE
Thanks for the jolly read.


And thank you for reading so nicely Don. Hope you are making good progress in your recovery?
jgdittier
Dear Cybele,
Your most enjoyable piece has caused me to do some research on my own.
My intent was to see what happened to Farynor and then to track down the destiny of the cow who burned down Chicago.
As to London, I learned nothing more of Farynor except that he wasn't guilty! It seems a wizard-silversmith named Thaddeus Ticker was the cause. His goblin assistants went on strike and Ticker, throwing fireballs at the goblins, started the fire. I'm not sure what happened to Ticker either... or to the goblins.

http://www.livejournal.com/community/intercomlarp/75794.html

The thought of writing for kids has crossed my mind too and with considerable positives.  Kids accept the symplicity of R&M without
complications the adult imposes. Kids too focus on the positives or
think of the form as a positive while modern practice has a long list of no-nos to be avoided. Aren't most of our "nits" practices that once were accepted?

I'm eager to read of Christopher Columbus!
Cheers,   ron  jgd
Cybele


Hello Ron,

QUOTE
Your most enjoyable piece has caused me to do some research on my own.
My intent was to see what happened to Farynor and then to track down the destiny of the cow who burned down Chicago.


I am delighted to have sparked your curiosity. Let's hope that will be the reaction of the children.

I have been unable to track down Farynor after he managed to escape with his family across the rooftops.  

QUOTE
As to London, I learned nothing more of Farynor except that he wasn't guilty! It seems a wizard-silversmith named Thaddeus Ticker was the cause. His goblin assistants went on strike and Ticker, throwing fireballs at the goblins, started the fire. I'm not sure what happened to Ticker either... or to the goblins.


This is a legend I haven't come across before Ron. Wizards and goblins, the stuff of fairy tales.  gandalfg.gif

I tried the link Ron but got Page unavailable. Do you have another link?

But what I find fascinating is your mention of the cow that burnt down Chicago. Do tell! And why not in verse?

QUOTE
The thought of writing for kids has crossed my mind too and with considerable positives.  Kids accept the symplicity of R&M without
complications the adult imposes. Kids too focus on the positives or
think of the form as a positive while modern practice has a long list of no-nos to be avoided.


You must do it then Ron.  It is very satisfying to be able to write R&M in the old-fashioned way. As you say, children find this much more acceptable than modern verse which they are too young too understand or acknowledge fully as poetry.

QUOTE
Aren't most of our "nits" practices that once were accepted?



Yes, I dare say you are right there Ron, but fashions change in all things and sometimes really old fashioned pieces seem very naive and childish, so we must accept that change is not altogether a bad thing.


QUOTE
I'm eager to read of Christopher Columbus!


Tomorrow will be The Gunpowder Plot, since it is almost the 400th anniversary of the event and two days later I will post Christopher Columbus. I only hope it lives up to your expectations.  oops.gif
jgdittier
Dear Grace,
I'm still in kindergarten re computer skills and apologize for the fact that  when you click on the link it fails.
The link works for me if I type it in the address line.
Cheers,    ron  jgd




Cleo_Serapis
Hi Grace. wave.gif

I really enjoyed your poem! Good job Grace! bowdown.gif

I am pleased to see you and Ron now interchanging these History for Kids poems. Perhaps other will join in (myself included)? And YES, there is a thread in the marketplace with regard to creating a children’s chapbook sometime if you are interested. Maybe if we join in we can just title it: History for Kids ?

Anywho, here are some thoughts for you below.  cop.gif
[add] {delete}


A fateful day in history
in Sixteen Sixty Six
when Farynor’s forgetfulness
reduced a town to sticks.

(Great opening Grace! )

The King’s own master baker’s
life would never be the same,
for the fire that burnt old London down -
he’s the only one to blame.  (BAD BAD BAKER – he WAS! )

The puddin-headed nincompoop   - cute!
confessed that he remembers
being very tired that night;
- forgot to damp the embers.  

Flames roared and leapt from house to house (suggest a switch to leapt and roared for meter emphasis)
across thatched roofs they flew[,]
while Farynor[,] in disbelief
watched as the wild wind blew[.]

[While] {and} down the streets the scurrying rats
all tried to flee the flames,
but ended up by drowning
in the murky River Thames.   (Wonderful rhythm Grace. claps.gif )

And so dear reader bear in mind (if you are reading this to children, you may want to say: ‘and so young children’ bear in mind instead?)
with all that burning wood[,]
the plague that killed so many
was banished now – for good!

So, is Farynor a hero
or just a simple fool?
After all the heated argument[s],
the result was really cool.


Enjoyed the tale and learned something too in the process!
~Cleo :pharoah2




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