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Subject Index - Family and Home

Dedication to a Fireplace

Family, to me, has always been an elastic concept. There is immediate family, extended family, adopted family (the informal kind), there are additions by birth, marriage and adoption, and sadly there are subtractions. One of my favorite quotes on family is by poet and author G.K. Chesterton:

The family is the test of freedom, because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself."
--Gilbert K. Chesterton

Simply put: the family is the thing you associate yourself with more strongly than anything else. For those of us in western cultures, it is our equivalent of tribal identity. There is a protective instinct, a nesting instinct, and nurturing instinct, and a thousand more nuances that flow out of the idea of family.

Home, anyone's concept of home, is likewise an elastic concept. It is a matter of personal experience. My favorite definition of home is from a fictional disabled war veteran, who explained that:

Home is the place where the people who love you are at. Nothing else matters."
--Dak Winter

You will note that some of the included examples have a wistful nature to them. Others are on the nature of homilies, and still others anbout the meaning of home and family. If any one poet could be considered to 'own' this category, my nod would go to Christopher Morley. There are several selections here (and could easily be many more) from Chimneysmoke.

  1. Our Little Ghost by Louisa May Alcott

  2. Boyhood by Washington Allston
    Fond memories of early life.

  3. Motherhood by Mathilde Blind

  4. Sonnet upon a Swedish Cottage by Sir John Carr

  5. Frost at Midnight by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Thoughts to a child on what his life will hold.

  6. Truly Great by W. H. Davies
    Contentment with home, garden and mate.

  7. The Boy by W. H. Davies
    On enjoying childhood without cares.

  8. Parenthood by John Chipman Farrar

  9. Beautiful Hands by Emma M. H. Gates

  10. Home by Edgar Guest
    It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home.>

  11. A Thanksgiving to God for His House by Robert Herrick

  12. A Country Boy in Winter by Sarah Orne Jewett

  13. Mother O' Mine by Rudyard Kipling

  14. The Children's Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  15. The Baby by George MacDonald

  16. Dedication for a Fireplace by Christopher Morley

  17. Six Weeks Old by Christopher Morley

  18. Song for a Little House by Christopher Morley

  19. Our House by Christopher Morley

  20. On Naming a House by Christopher Morley

  21. The Toys by Coventry Patmore

  22. Home Sweet Home by John Howard Payne
    Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

  23. To Miss Charlotte Pulteney, in Her Mother's Arms by Ambrose Philips

  24. To My Mother by Edgar Allen Poe

  25. Good-bye, Little Cabin by Robert W. Service

  26. Home and Love by Robert W. Service

  27. The Discoverer by Edmund Clarence Stedman

  28. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World by William Ross Wallace

  29. My Home by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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