MJR, poet

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Second July poetry post and this one purely by accident.  Do you ever wonder what will happen to “things” when you are gone from this temporary home?  Today, a book of poetry came home from the thrift store with me, “The Book of Modern Poetry 1941”.  When looking at the book and briefly opening it, I noticed there were quite a few papers tucked away in its pages.  While relaxing this evening the following were found…

First, tucked between the pages of  poetry by Rose Gelb and John Gentry, were two typewritten poems, “Silent Love” and “KANSAS CITY MO”.  Both were on full sheets of paper, but no author name was listed.  Also, a sheet of paper with two handwritten poems with a title at the top of the paper, “C.o.f.f.e.e.”.  Both were initialed MJR.

Next, on at page 400 there was a newspaper clipping with the title “Ludlow Poet Placed in Important Volume”.   Ludlow caught my eye because I grew up on a farm about 120 miles from Kansas City and about 30 miles from Ludlow.  The newspaper article then revealed that the Ludlow poet was Margaret L. Jellum of Ludlow, MO and page 400 contains four of her poems, “Death”, “An Old Man”, “To the One I Love”, and “In Spring”.  This page is also marked with a leather bookmark saying, “Memories”, Grand Rapids, Minn. (I didn’t know there was a Grand Rapids, MN).

Between the poetry of Ella Will Jeter and Bess Jett was a newspaper clipping, “Noel Coward Leaves Poem on Death”. The poem was “When I Have Fears”.  Do you think maybe they were acquaintances?

Then, between Eva Bathon Lucas and Gladys Potete Lynn, there were several poems all which looked like they were clipped from a newspaper, “Keep Smilin” by Margaret Jellum Robinson, Ludlow, Mo., Dedicated to all those who join the armed forces.  Also, “In Spring”, “Spring Wish”, and “Hope” by Margaret Jellum Robinson.  There was also a clipping explaining the process of becoming published in the poetry volume and a column clipping titled “Looking Back through Constitution Tribune Files”.  The Constitution Tribune was the local newspaper of a town 20 miles from where I grew up. This was one stuffed section because it also contained a letter postmarked April 10, 1943 in Chillicothe, from Dr. R. J. Brennan, 517 Elm Street, Chillicothe, Missouri, to Mrs Margaret Robinson, Ludlow, MO.  I opened this one with extreme caution… was I going to find a diagnosis, or a letter to a lover?… not quite, but it was a very sweet letter to her from the doctor thanking her for “the nice compliment you paid me in our local paper a few days ago.”  It also contained a newspaper clipping “Eulogy to a Doctor” by Margaret Jellum Robinson.

Between Reba True Meyer and Margaret Michaels were several copies of a photograph of two very lovely ladies, possibly a mother and a daughter, but there were no marking on the photographs.

Then a few pages later between Margaret Kennedy Mills and E. Breckenridge Minnis, there was a program for a school open house and Margaret Robinson was listed in the program as Faculty, 5th Grade.  There was also a picture of what is described on the back of the photograph as Peggy’s first school, Hoosier School 1937-38, 2 1/2 miles from Ludlow, Mo, it also is written that Peggy made and designed the dress she is wearing.  There is also a newspaper clipping of a poem, “I Knew” by Margaret Jellum Robinson.

The memorabilia continues between Emma Patureau Mouton and Kathryn Rowan Moynihan.  A letter addressed to Margaret Louise Robinson and postmarked Apr 23, 1945 in Kansas City, MO.  This one is a bit confusing since the return address on the envelope says Papa Dadda, but is handwritten on stationery from the office of Dr. A. E. Scardino (Diseases of the Skin) 2603 Independence Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.  It has a title “A Smile” and says… “A smile costs nothing, but gives much.  It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give.  It takes but a moment, bit its memory sometimes lasts forever.  None of us is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it.  None so poor but that he can be made richer by it.  A smile creates happiness, fosters good will, and is the countersign of friendship.  It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature’s best antidote for trouble.  Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.  Some people are to tired to give a smile.  Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.”  If this possibly came from a grandfather (guessing) I can see where her writing talent might have originated.  There is also a handwritten receipt here from The Prudential Insurance Co. of America, dated 10-30-44 and states “Rec’d from K L Robinson 93 cents.  Ins. for Oct. 1944, A M Tapp, Agent.

Between Ethel Louise Patrick and Elizabeth Bater Patriquin was another insurance receipt dated 2-12, 1945, still for 93 cents.  (Glad to see her insurance didn’t increase from October 44 to February 45!)

Between J. Alton Price and M. Conway Price there was a card, postmarked May 10, 1946, from Ludlow, Mo., addressed to Mrs. Marg Jellum Robinson, 441 Knickerbocker Hall, Kansas City, Mo.  It was a Mother’s Day Greeting card from “Daddy”.  (Ok, I cried a little bit here… I think I was beginning to connect and the card was just so sweet.)

Lastly there was another handwritten insurance premium receipt, 1/15/45, Rec’d from Karen L. Robinson $1.86-Dec and Jan payments insurance. A bit out of order from the first receipt, but possibly she was reading one of the poems by Della Wendt Willis or Eva Tifft Yeager-Wilson when using this receipt as a bookmark.  Since it was 1/15,  possibly “Blow, O North Wind!” by Yeager-Wilson?

On page 868 is the Biographical Note for Margaret Louisa Jellum…  “attended Kirksville State Teachers College and is a teacher. Her poems have been broadcast over station WDAF (Kansas City, Mo.)

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Margaret if you are still living and happen by some chance to read this, I have enjoyed getting to know you and a small portion of your life.  It truly is a small world!  Your book and its contents will remain exactly as I found it and I may add a note for the next person who finds your jewel.

Now, I think I will read some poetry on this hot, dry July night, so I don’t worry about these blurry photographs.  I don’t think it is me… my camera has really not worked properly since I had it fixed in the spring.  :(

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~ by kcjewel on July 16, 2011.

4 Responses to “MJR, poet”

  1. Oh, what a wonderful find…one can only hope Margaret will know some how “The Book of Modern Poetry” has gone to a jewel, a perfect home. You know I lived in Chillicothe as a small child. This post brings smiles and tears…thank you for sharing.

  2. What a remarkable find and that it was discovered by someone who truly appreciates it is an incredibly stroke of luck! MJR would be very pleased!

  3. Had to come and see your post after I saw your comment on mine (although I admit I didn’t read it…might come back when I have more time and do that, but it’s too much right now)
    I think you did well! I probably would have arranged the papers, pictures, etc. to completely fill the frame. I had a tough time doing that with mine, since I only had three pieces, and I didn’t want anyone to be able to read my address (another reason I added texture).

  4. Wow, what a find. I googled her name, and right under your post lisiting was a pdf from Family Tree Maker. If you go look, Her info is in Generation 6. She has a daughter by the name of Karen.

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