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Thursday 17 September 2015

Outport Girl

This poem is for my granddaughters, Sylvie and Caitlin. While it is about their great great grandmother Bessie Earle Smith of Durrell, Twillingate Island, Newfoundland, it is about any of our foremothers who grew up in outport Newfoundland. 

Those women worked so hard from an early age, learning how to survive in the harsh environment of coastal Newfoundland.

Their lives revolved around a fishery which was seasonal and unpredictable,

in support of the men who braved the rough seas of the North Atlantic, 

and doing everything on the home-front.

We are so proud of them.

                Bessie Earle Smith

                      Outport Girl

There was a wee girl
Named Bessie Earle
Who lived in a place
Where the ocean did swirl.

She could play on the beach
And watch fishing boats,
See whales and sea gulls,
Horses and goats.

Icebergs were plenty
Waves they were lapping.
Gardens were tended
And feet they were tapping.

People worked hard
And times they were tough.
Families struggled
To just get enough.

When Bessie did grow up 
And then met her bow,
She took along with her
The life she did know.

Now in my history
I have a great gran
Who was a proud daughter
Of outport Newfoundland.
                              Marie Pretty Smith

These are family photos taken on and around Twillingate.


Unknown said...

Very nice. I love the pictures,especially the ones of the root cellars!

Marie Smith said...

I love the rock and the ocean photos. Ah, home! Granda had a cellar as well but his was dug down with a shed over it. These dug into a mound with a door on them are not like the cellars I knew. Such hard time and such strong people!