Have you ever heard of “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod”? If you’re like most people, you’ll recognize those names and realize that they have something to do with… sleep. Eugene Field wrote a whole poem about “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” and how they “sailed off in a wooden shoe.” He called it “Dutch Lullaby.” It is his most famous poem but he wrote dozens of others which were also very popular.
He had trouble finding a career and holding onto money. Finally, he met Julia Comstock, got married and put her in charge of all his paychecks. Everything got better after that. He found his place working as a newspaper reporter and later wrote a gossipy column for the Chicago Daily News about people, parties, art, and books.
His poems for children were, by far, his most lasting legacy, though. Throughout the US there are at least 30 elementary schools named after him.
Eugene Field’s childhood home was turned into a museum with exhibits about his life and, most appropriately, about children’s toys. The Eugene Field House & Toy Museum is located in St. Louis, Missouri.
You can read Field’s poetry at www.gutenberg.org.
This is the first stop on our Missouri Trail!
Rebecca Blake Beech