Biography of Robert Winthrop
I was born and raised in Hannibal, Missouri, a stone's throw from Mark Twain's boyhood home on Hill Street. I twice won first prize for my verses in the local literary competition. After graduating from college, I became an English and journalism teacher for several years. Later I studied computer science and became a technical writer. As part of my job I lived and worked in Paris, France, for a couple of years. I retired from a major computer company, and I am now enjoying traveling and pretty much doing what I want.
Most of my verses are in rhyme, and I try to vary the scheme and meter. The poems on my page were written over the years, some in high school, some in college, and some more recently.
Robert Winthrop's Works:
I am the co-author of one published novel, 'Thunder on Forbidden Mountain, ' and the author of two self-published books of verse.
Robert Winthrop Poems
A Brother's Touch
When we were kids and sent to bed When dusk had barely passed, My brother Tom and I would play A game, "I Touched You Last."
Are aprons passé? There may still be a few That say 'Kiss the Cook' when men barbecue. For Gram they were vital; they saved her good dress When cooking and cleaning or clearing a mess.
Lone Kid On The Block
I just saw in the paper that a friend of mine had died; I had not seen him for some time, but still I nearly cried. I thought of days when we were kids and every summer's day I'd go and ask his mother if he could come out and play.
The Blue-Plate Special
When I was newly married and adjusting to the life, I went to see my mother and complained about my wife. I wasn't kind then to my wife I really must confess. Her cooking wasn't up to par; she left the sink a mess.
One night when I was safe in bed, I counted many sheep, But any means which I employed Would not bring dreams or sleep.
I Lived On Pleasant Street
When I was six and in first grade, We found a house complete With yard and fields and great big trees, A house on Pleasant Street.
A Brave Friend
I had a friend who lost a leg While in the war in France, And with this loss he also lost The chance to run and dance.
The Last Ones Chosen
It could have been for any game or for a spelling bee, Or maybe for flag football or Ollie Ollie Oxen Free. I'm sure we all remember them, this girl and this boy, They were the last ones chosen, we'll call them Tom and Joy.
When I was growing up, I had a lot of friends who were Of opposite religions, and politics, for sure. We'd often kid and tell bad jokes about the others' plan; I favored FDR and Thomas Dewey was their man.
My Uncle And Mark Twain
My uncle was a patron of the bars up on North Main; He also thought he knew a lot about our dear Mark Twain. He'd sit upon his bar stool and recite from Mark Twain's books. He wasn't fazed when tourists there would give him dirty looks.
(If you grew up in Hannibal, you knew Marge, the friendly waitress at the Maid-Rite drive-in. Suffering from ill health, Marge jumped from the bridge and perished in the Mississippi.) A cigarette, a sailor hat, A whispered 'Goodbye, Hon.'
I give you these poorly wrapped gifts And hope that you will find something about them to like. These gifts that cost a few dollars But can never equal the value of
The Old Water Tower
Ay! Tear the water tower down That stands on Pleasant Street, A landmark generations old, A memory so sweet.
Like any other river town, our Hannibal had vice Although it wasn't spoken of by those considered 'nice.' But even boys of ten or twelve along the way had heard That something strange was going on at One-Eleven Bird.
A Brother's Touch
When we were kids and sent to bed
When dusk had barely passed,
My brother Tom and I would play
A game, "I Touched You Last."
We'd lie there in our double bed
Where nothing could be seen,
And then a hand would slowly snake
Across the space between.