The Columbus Poem and Columbus Day Weekend at Sundial
Earlier this week, my son discovered the “Columbus Poem” (see full poem below). He was quite pleased with himself because he managed to memorize the entire thing. I asked him how he did that and he told me he “just kept saying it over and over and over.” He then proceeded to demonstrate his method by speed-reciting the entire poem in less than 60 seconds. This of course led to me timing him while he tried to beat his best time. After 15 minutes, including a 2-minute water break, he had said the poem 19 times and gotten his record down to 32 seconds. He wanted to keep going until he broke the 30-second mark but I had to make him stop and catch his breath for a little while until we did it again.
Ever since that afternoon, I have had that poem stuck in my head. It’s like “The Song That Never Ends”. I have to give the poet credit though, the poem addresses a common misconception about Columbus, clearly stating that he landed in the Bahamas and not, as most believe, on American soil.
Considering that fact, I was reminded of a post on Sundial’s Facebook page that talked about some of the activities that will be going on Columbus Day weekend. In the spirit of the holiday, more than the history, the resort is recreating Columbus’ famous landing Saturday and featuring a lot of fun, holiday themed dishes and cocktails.
Regardless of whether the infamous Spanish explorer landed in the Bahamas or not, I know that we’ll all be at Sundial to watch the new landing, take pictures with “Columbus” and indulge in all of the holiday festivities.
The complete “Columbus Poem”:
IN 1492 by Jean Marzollo, ©1948
In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.
A compass also helped him know
How to find the way to go.
Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.
Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.
Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.
October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!
“Indians! Indians!” Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.
But “India” the land was not;
It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.
The Arakawa natives were very nice;
They gave the sailors food and spice.
Columbus sailed on to find some gold
To bring back home, as he’d been told.
He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.
The first American? No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.