Another poem in Glosso’s pandemic poetry collection, this time from Kitty O’Meara in 2020. Continue reading
During National Poetry Month, Glossophilia is posting poetry inspired by pandemics and virus outbreaks of yore. Today we bring you a public service slogan and a children’s rhyme.
During the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic, the Red Cross distributed gauze masks and enjoined the public to:
Obey the laws
And wear the gauze!
Protect your jaws
From septic paws!
And this children’s jump-rope rhyme was heard throughout the US during the height of the pandemic:
I had a little bird and its name was Enza
I opened the window and
The Influenza (excerpt)
Yet Father Neptune strove right well
To moderate this plague of Hell,
And thwart it in its course;
And though it passed the streak of brine [the English Channel]
And penetrated this thin line,
It came with broken force.
For though it ravaged far and wide
Both village, town and countryside,
Its power to kill was o’er;
And with the favouring winds of Spring
(Blest is the time of which I sing)
It left our native shore.
- — by Winston Churchill, aged 15, affected by the pandemic known then as the Russian Flu in 1890