Thank you, old fairy in the second-hand shop

April is National Poetry Month and ever since college, I found myself falling in love with poetry. That was when, I believe my junior year, I just really dove into it in my literature class. Usually my classes consisted of me drawing or daydreaming away, but not my literature classes. Those kept me spellbound. I had thought I was never a poetry person until that junior year. Whatever it was, the poems just really jumped off the page and captured my attention. The hidden meanings, the beautiful imagery, I just couldn’t get enough. Some favorites included Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Lady of Shallott, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, Robert Browning’s Porphyria’s Lover, and Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven and Annabel Lee. There are a good bit more, but as of right now, those are in my mind. There is one, however, that has always stuck with me and makes me realize that my love for poetry perhaps didn’t begin in college. It only flourished then. Looking back, I have realized it began with this lovely poem I cherished. My mother would read to me out of this old fairy tale book and while I loved all the stories and poems, this one here I loved above all others. 



This is actually what it looked like in the book. Below is the poem since it’s a bit hard to read in the image. 

The Second-Hand Shop

by Rowena Bennett

Down in the grasses

Where the grasshoppers hop

And the katydids quarrel

And the flutter-moths flop–


Down in the grasses

Where the beetle goes “plop,”

An old withered fairy

Keeps a second-hand shop.


She sells lost thimbles

For fairy milk pails

And burnt-out matches

For fence posts and rails. 


She sells stray marbles

To bowl on the green, 

And bright scattered beads

For the crown of the queen. 


Oh, don’t feel badly

Over things that you lose

Like spin tops or whistles

Or dolls buckled shoes;


They may be things that 

Fairy folk can use:

For down in the grasses

Where the grasshoppers hop

A withered old fairy 

Keeps a second-hand shop. 


I had this poem read over and over to me as I would picture this old withered fairy deep down in the grasses holding her shop in my yard. And when I did lose things of mine, I didn’t worry too much since I knew she would make good use of them. Because of this poem, I was able to have a fascination with the beauty of poetry that only grew as I was introduced to more and more inspiring works of art. 


Happy National Poetry Month to all the poets out there that I have had the pleasure of reading and discovering their work on some amazing blogs!


5 thoughts on “Thank you, old fairy in the second-hand shop

  1. Wow! I came across your blog and started scrolling through your posts. When I came to this one I had to stop and comment. My grandmother, my dad’s mom, gave me a copy of this book when I was seven or eight years old. That was close to 60 years ago. I still have it, though it isn’t in great shape anymore. My favorite story, probably because of the art, is the one about The Cannery Bear. Now I need to dig out that book and read everything again. Thanks for bringing back that wonderful memory.

    • Ah yes I remember The Cannery Bear! I think my book was passed down from my grandmother and it’s not in the best shape either. I want to say it’s pretty beat up and may even be taped together. That’s amazing you know the book I’m talking about. I loved it as a child!

  2. This came from my favorite children’s book, The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies. I feel in love with poetry thanks to this poem,when I was 4 years old and read it for the first time. I still have my original copy, with it’s charming illustrations by Garth Williams, who also illustrated the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder,

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