A Boring Day in a Wonderful Month

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, July 1, 1914:

July has come to us once more.

Bright with days of the summer time.

Laden with joys that we all may find.

Filled to the brim and running o’er.

It’s a sad way to begin a month, if you’ve forgotten all the things you did. Guess I didn’t do much for the day by the sound of the entry.DSC02847

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

The poem and the rest of the diary entry seem so diametrically opposed. Even though the month began slowly, maybe Grandma was hopeful that the reminder of the month would be busy, fun-filled, and generally awesome.

  • “sad way to begin a month” vs. “bright with days”
  • “forgotten” vs. “laden with joys”
  • “didn’t do much” vs. “filled to the brim and running o’er”

Monthly Poem

For more information about the poems that Grandma included on the first day of each month, see this previous post:

Monthly Poem in Diary

19 thoughts on “A Boring Day in a Wonderful Month

  1. I look forward to reading these entries. What an interesting young woman! Could she have been poking fun at her poetic interlude….

  2. Positive or wistful thinking. Grandma usually wrote a good poem, she seems to have a lot of energy that wasn’t used up most of the time, things were a bit slow, I guess for someone who loved life.

    1. Yes, it does seem like she had a lot of creative energy that her day-to-day activities didn’t fully support. She did love life.

  3. You’re very observant to catch all the opposites in Grandma’s poem. Perhaps she had written the poem far in advance….? And obviously, she’s not writing her entry on the actual day, since she says she can’t remember what she did…

    1. Your suggestion that she may have written the poem ahead of time make a lot of sense. I’ve never been able to completely figure out the poems–and how she so systematically included one the the first each month (and never included any poems on any other days of the month.)

  4. You’re right–this is a fascinating contrast. I wonder if she was writing poems according to some notion of how poetry “should” sound–romanticized and flowery–rather than to reflect her own thoughts.

    1. We may be over-analyzing her words in this entry, and she may not have taken her own words nearly as seriously as we are taking them.

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