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     About Author: 


Barney Ward was born in 1896 and died in 1961. Barney was born in Kentucky, and he was known for his artistic abilities in painting and drawing as well. His poem "School Days" highlights some of the former picturesque settings which were common during his time and develops a visual tale of the school system in the early 20th century. 



January 2016 Featured Poet 

SCHOOL DAYS 

I went to a little
   country school house 
by the side of the road 
   among the trees. 
It was there I learned 
   history, reading, and spelling
but first I had to 
   learn my ABC's. 

I won't forget that little 
   school house by the roadside 
because there I learned 
   the things I should know. 
I learned how the great 
   General Washington won
our freedom and independence long ago. 

We learned that the 
   great patriots of yesterday 
signed our Independence 
   in Philadelphia Hall 
and how for liberty, 
   freedom, and justice 
our country arose to the call. 

I learned that we 
   should study geography
so as to know the lay 
   of our land, 
our mountains, our rivers, 
   and valleys 
and even our desert sand. 

Arithmetic was a 
   very important subject 
back in the days 
   when I went to school, 
because we needed to know
   how to build things 
and how to read the 
   figures on the rule. 

We learned to love 
   our neighbor 
and to respect 
   the law of the land. 
We were told that 
   according to the Bible 
that these were the 
   Lord's commands. 

My there sure was 
   a lot of work to do 
each morning before we could 
   ever get away. 
There were the pigs and cows 
    to feed and water 
and wood and coal 
    to fetch for the day. 

There was no bus to 
   pick us up in the morning 
and no bus 
   to carry us home at night, 
but we plodded right on 
   through sunshine and rain
because we knew that 
   our schools were right. 

A few boards had been 
   torn from that school house, 
and names had been carved 
   in the wood. 
Yet it stood as an emblem 
   of freedom 
and all for 
   our country's good. 

It is all very nice 
   in the city
and they have such 
   wonderful schools, 
but don't forget at the 
    little country school house
we too learned 
    the golden rule. 

Oh yes, it was only 
   a little one room school house 
and you may wonder 
   how we got along so well. 
You see we didn't take a lot 
   of fancy subjects, 
but we did learn to read, 
   write, and spell. 

The little school house 
    is fast disappearing 
from the roadside and will soon 
   only be in memories past. 
Here's a salute to you 
   little school house 
You were faithful, true, and just 
   on to the very last. 



By: Barney Ward