Tapping Into Shaker Love of Rhyme and Rhythm

I have grown in my appreciation of the literary and artistic productions of the Shakers (not just their exquisite buildings and furniture) thanks to the Hamilton College Library, Clinton, NY


Rhymes of Animals

A correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette writes. "I strung the following rhymes together to tickle the ears of my little boys, four and six years old. They tease their mamma to read it over and over again, and they fetch the big illustrated dictionary to have her point out the funny animals with such strange names and tell what she can about them. This fancy for rhyme and rhythm is, I suppose, a characteristic of nearly all children, and perhaps the publication of this will amuse a wider circle than my little household. The aim has been, after euphony, to have the most incongruous animals in juxtaposition."
I was sent to the source (Shaker Manifesto, July 1882) by A Peaceable Kingdon: the Shaker Abecedarious illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. I note some variants. The Provensens split Guinea Pig into two words and add an "s" to Xanthos. Otherwise it is the same fascinating list. Augmented by their delicate drawing which a scan doesn't do justice.

While reading the Shaker Manifesto, I notice on the page previous to the ABC in the Society Record - death announcements including the suicide of Charles Miner done in a very understanding fashion touching by its approach to mental health.


And so for day 2091