Poems For Peter
In the roaring 20's, Philadelphia's Mainline was at its height. Model T's, bobbed hair, elegant garden parties, fox hunts on private estates, lunch and tennis at the Merion Cricket Club--all were the rage. Immersed in this, yet ahead of her time, was a free-spirited young woman by the name of Lysbeth Body Borie. In 1928, J. B. Lippincott of Philadelphia published Lysbeth's first book, Poems for Peter. These poems were written about her three-year-old son, at play on the Borie Estate. During its 82 year history, Poems for Peter has sold over 29,000 copies. With the cooperation of the Borie family, I. Murphy Lewis has republished this charming books in its entirety from the original copper plates, rekindling the hearts of those who have treasured the tales of young Peter and now igniting the hearts of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In 1984, I. Murphy Lewis' grandmother (Irene Murphy Panner) challenged her to republish Poems for Peter for all her great-grandchildren to enjoy. Time flew and so did this brilliant idea. Finally, in 1990, Ms. Lewis made contact with Peter himself. With the help of Peter and the Borie family, Murphy was able to thoroughly research Lysbeth's background, to gain access to the original copper plates, and to republish (in conjunction with Shank Painter) the complete book for our reading pleasure.
"A real find." – Los Angeles Times
"The child himself is speaking in each verse...the three-year-old spirit has been successfully caught and consistently maintained."
– Detroit Free Press
"Naive simplicity and spontaneous humor mark these enchanting rhymes." – Dallas Daily News
"She has caught the childish spirit, the imagery of childhood, and interpreted it in rhymes...her poems will rank with the best of those written around childhood themes." – Portland News, Oregon
About Lysbeth Boyd Borie
"All of us have our peculiarities... Mine was wearing hats. I had always understood that editors wore hats. So there I was, on every occasion; whether walking on campus or delivering an oration, behatted, befeathered, beflowered, and I suspect, belittled. However, I was happy..." -Lysbeth Boyd Borie
Lysbeth Boyd Borie was born in 1902. Surrounded by loving and talented parents, she immediately began to distinguish herself as a writer. Lysbeth was a member of the class of 1925 at Bryn Mawr College, and later became the editor of the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin. Her most important civic contribution was her work with the Independence Hall Association building its National Park. She also served as their secretary for eighteen years.
For ten years she served as the Director of Public Relations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, innovatingly creating the Volunteer Guide Program. She was a founding member of the Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia, a member of the Poetry Society of America, and at one time served as president of the Junior League. Lysbeth became well-known for writing popular jingles, slogans and pamplets. For thirteen years, she aroused the interest of many with her advertisements for the Tasty (Kake) Baking Company.
But most of the time, Lysbeth enjoyed sitting quietly in the garden of the Borie estate, writing serious verse and children's poetry. Over the course of her lifetime, Lysbeth's writing appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Saturday Review, Ladies' Home Journal and The Saturday Evening Post. In 1928, her first book, Poems for Peter, was published. Later, she wrote two other children's books, More Poems for Peter and David Has His Day. A year before her death, her nephew, Larry Murdoch, published A Collection of Poems, a book of Lysbeth's more serious verse.