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.