Dime’s Worth of Ice Cream

My grandpa was a good man, I am told.
They say he was a man with heart of gold.
He preached the Word to those outside the fold.
He died before my birth, how could I know
how wonderful my grandpa must have been?
My siblings heard him play the violin.
I only know I’m proud to be his kin.
The stories that they tell of long ago
cause me to wish I could go back in time
to taste ice cream that cost Grandpa a dime,
to listen to his poetry in rhyme
and help him track the rabbits in the snow.
But that is something that can never be
and so I’ll cherish him in memory.

c Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Pattern: The Harper Sonnet.   Fourteen lines of iambic pentameter, honoring grandfathers who teach progeny of their heritage.  Written in one unbroken stanza of three tercets separated by “b” lines and concluding with an indented couplet.  The rhyme scheme is a-a-a-b-c-c-c-b-d-d-d-b-e-e.

History of this pattern: Created by Mary Harper Sowell, in 1994. Introduced through the Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas.  The form was named for James Alvin Harper, Mary’s grandfather.

8 comments on “Dime’s Worth of Ice Cream

  1. 🙂 I remember this poem not word for word, but parts of it.


  2. My maternal grandfather used to buy us ice cream–must make universally for special memories. Thanks for explaining the sonnet form. It’s great to get more of a literary education!


  3. Catherine Johnson says:

    Lovely poem! I wish I had the patience to try this. One day!


  4. Thanks, Ginger and Marilyn, for your response to this sonnet. The poet who created this pattern was my cousin. We had the same great-grandfather.


  5. Never knew my Grandpa either…being the youngest born…but, always wished I had…


  6. Ginger Kemp Pruett says:

    My grandpa also played the fiddle and the banjo as well. This poem brought back to mind listening with my cousins when we were very young.


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