Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

“Exeter,” a poem by Erwin A. Thompson

To all of my good friends in Exeter. I applaud your efforts, and share your hopes and dreams!--Erwin A. Thompson

Erwin A. Thompson, contented nonegenarian, author, and folk treasure

Exeter - An old historic town,
Its roots deep in the past of Illinois.

Born in eighteen twenty three
It's had its share of sadness, and of joy.

A thriving town,
When Bluffs and Jacksonville were yet unknown.

The railroads tipped the balance down,
Exeter nearly died, the others grown.

But hark! New voices in the air!
New faces on the scene!

New hearts to love the old discarded past,
Square dancing on the village green!

Willing hands at work,
Rebuilding and restoring things of old.

Old bricks, old boards, old rocks.
Coal oil lamps, and candle mold.

Their hopes are high - their dreams
Show out in everything they do.

And yet sometimes I have to smile
At the blending of the old and new.

A fiddle and an old guitar,
Makin' music in the shade.

But wait! What's this I see?
They're smokin' tailor mades!

The girls - their skirts a century ago,
So long they nearly touch the ground.

Hey look! There ain't much top!
The darn things just slipped down!

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2 Responses »

  1. Hi there!
    I'm enjoying these stories about Exeter so much - and am so grateful that people care about the town's history and are caring for the town itself. The ride that commemorated Grant's ride must have been a sight to see! Lovely poem and nice essay.

  2. Erwin, your essay and poem are delightful in bringing back the history of Exeter, old and newer. I hope that others are continuing the restoration and remaining true to the old days. We visited Galina, a tourist operation to be sure, and enjoyed it very much. When we lose sight of the past, we lose sight of ourselves. I always enjoy your tales and wait for more!

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