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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Era (02/03/11)

TITLE: The Years We Would Forget
By Carol Penhorwood
02/10/11


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The Years We Would Forget

Those troubled years
Of fear and want
When jobs were few
And pockets light

One in four
Unemployed
Waves of suicide common
Hope died

Savings lost
Banks closed doors
200,000 homes foreclosed
Husbands simply ran away
Despondent and afraid

The women and the children worked
In factories, farms, and mines
Education left behind
To feed the pangs of hunger

Two and half million children
From age ten to eighteen
Working menial jobs
For beggar's pay

Families separated
Children farmed out
“Box car children” rode the rails
For a better future

Three or four families crowded
In one room shacks
Eating weeds
Others living in caves
Or sewer pipes

Many lived in “Hoosiervilles” (shanties)
Subsisting on “Hoover Stew” (food kitchens)
Wrapped in “Hoover Blankets” (newspapers)
Eating “Hoover Hogs” (jackrabbits)
Riding in “Hoover Wagons” ( broken cars pulled by mules)

Black Tuesday changed the world
The Great Depression birthed
Security gone forever
With loss eternally etched in souls.



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This article has been read 557 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Penhorwood 02/10/11
I'm sure you noted the HUGE mistake made...It should have been "Hoovervilles" not "Hoosiervilles"...sorry.
Margaret Kearley 02/12/11
What a reminder - we forget too easily, from the stance of the comfort and blessings we so easily enjoy. Thank you for this beautiful descriptive writing.
Bonnie Bowden02/12/11
You've captured so well the feeling of the Great Depression. Unfortunately, we are currently facing some of the same economic and troubling times today.
Jim McWhinnie 02/15/11
Like a thirties radio broadcast,this verse was so effective in its staccato style.
Kate Oliver Webb02/16/11
Concise portrait of the despondency which changed us forever. Should be required reading in every school. . .but there's a good chance history will repeat. God help us all! Excellent writing!
Rachel Phelps02/16/11
Excellent pacing and evocative images.