HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: I’ll Watch Down The Trail In The Twilight For You: An Anthology of Poems
Author: Eva Lena Vawter Hardin
Cover Illustrator: James Kauitzsch
Publisher: Friesen Press, 2012
Related website: www.friesenpress.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Suitable for anyone
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Hardin, Eva Lena Vawter. I’ll Watch Down The Trail In The Twilight For You: An Anthology of Poems (published in 2012 by Friesen Press, Suite 300, 852 Fort St., Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 1H8). Eva Lena Hardin was born in 1883 at home near Tompkinsville in southern Kentucky. She married George Washington Hardin, and they had four children. They moved to San Francisco, CA, for a while, went back to Kentucky, and then settled in Ponca City, OK. Their three sons served in WWII, and their daughter stayed at home supporting her parents during the war. The Vawters were members of the Church of Christ. In addition to his other work, George preached in towns throughout the Midwest and South to help make ends meet. At least one of their sons, John Thomas Hardin, became a full-time preacher and served as a missionary in South Africa. The reason why we know so much about Eva Lena and are interested in her work is that her younger sister, Judith Anne Vawter Hendricks, was my wife’s maternal grandmother. Karen, who often lived with her grandparents IN Ft. Wayne, IN, as a child, remembers at least one time when she was young that “Aunt Evie” and her husband came for a visit.
Eva Lena, who died in 1965, lived a quiet life that included lots of physical labor. She often wrote poems at twilight when work stopped for an hour or so before sleep. In these poems about everyday experiences common to women of her era, she expressed her passion for George, for her faith, and for life itself, but her poems have never been published until now. Her granddaughter, Linda Elizabeth Shoemaker Willis who edited this book of Eva’s poems, wrote, “Although she will never be considered a great American poet, she was talented with rhyming schemes, vocabulary, and ideas.” The anthology, which includes photos of the author and her family, samples a few of her poems, and gives a poetic picture of life in the early to middle twentieth century that explores nature, motherhood, being a writer, love, and looking forward to a new land. The poems are grouped into categories of Aspirations, I Would Study Nature’s Wonders, Laughter, Odes to Mothers and their Children, Hard Times Then War, Our Redeemer, Passion at Twilight, “I Bring You Good News of Great Joy That Will Be for All the People,” and A New Land Beyond the Door. If you like simple, nostalgic poetry, you should enjoy this book.