Thursday, 3 September 2009

Virginia Dare

Every day I receive to my inbox The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor which is basically a poem and a list of birthdays of writers, poets and other significant people with a short precis of their lives and achievements. It gives me the opportunity to read a diverse range of Poets and to come across some interesting and original people. And it sometimes sparks a creative idea.

A couple of weeks ago it gave the birthday of Virginia Dare. The first recorded birth of a child to white parents on the North American continent. She was born to a colony of more than 100 men women and children who were trying to establish themselves on Roanoke Island off the coast of N.Carolina. The date was recorded because her Grandfather was the Governor of the colony and returned to England for more supplies. To cut a long story short his return to the colony was delayed by three years and when he did finally make it he found no trace of the Colony.

The disappearance of "The Lost Colony" and of Virginia Dare has been the subject of countless books and films and has passed into American Folklore.

I found this story very intriguing and this poem came to me:

Virginia Dare or The Birth of a Nation

Born 18th August 1587
A tiny mewling baby all red and splotchy
And already fiercely independant.
What joy filled their hearts as her cries
Drifted on the scented air.
So many hopes and fears swaddled tight,
One small bundle with the future of a nation
Grasped briefly in her chubby pink fingers.

What became of Virginia Dare
And the others of the "Lost Colony"?
How long did they search
With no trace ever found.
Only the grey eyed Indians
Perhaps held the key.
How long did she live?

Such an heroic name for little Virginia Dare
One name remembered amongst a multitude
Of others long forgotten.

And I thought I was quite brave moving to France and taking up Sheep farming.


Debs said...

What a fascinating story. I'm going to have to look up Virginia Dare now and find out more.


JJ Beattie said...

I've never heard of that before. Thank you for educating us.

So, sheepish, is that word count on your blog, correct? Because I think we should race, YES.

ChrisH said...

I read this before going to bed last night and kep thinking about this story and your poem. Isn't it interesting what sparks off an idea?

Lee whitley said...

I live on the Outer Banks and work in Manteo on Roanoke Island and am very familiar with the story of the Lost Colony. Your poem gives it life and substance. Well done.

liz fenwick said...

I loe the poem. I knew of the lost colony but had never heard of Virginia. Your words bring it to life.

sheepish said...

Debs it really stopped me in my tracks, we forget what brave people went to America.

JJ I am updating the word count but I think it's pretty much up to date. Race you then!!!

Chris fascinating

Lee thanks for stopping by

Liz made me realise how little I know of American history.

Thanks for all your comments