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Nursery Rhymes

All of us remember some of these. Many have been around since the Middle Ages. As children, many of us repeated the rhymes without any clear knowledge of what we might be saying. “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross”, indeed !!! But these were the sounds of childhood, for many of us our first reading lessons, our first (though unrealized) introduction into the rhythms of our native language, to meter, and, of course, to rhyme. Rhyme – unnatural but captivating –for nobody speaks in rhyme, but it is in English that rhyming verse strikes its highest mark. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to make sense, “Hey diddle, diddle, / The cat and the fiddle, / The cow jumped over the moon...” The trimeter lines remain from childhood memories, stuck there before logic suspended the possibility of cows jumping over the moon. But, once learned, they are never completely forgotten, talismans, things we take with us through our years.