Christmas Wishes from William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare statue in Chicago's Lincoln Park

At Christmas I no more desire a rose

Than wish a snow in May's newfangled shows,

But like of each thing that in season grows.

William Shakespeare 

Love's Labour's Lost 1:1

Wishing you peace, joy and hope this Christmas season.  

Krista August

The Eugene Field Memorial


        Chicago's Eugene Field Memorial is different from the other Lincoln Park portrait statues in that it does NOT show us what Eugene Field looks like.  

I suspect there was some portrait statue fatigue by the time it was unveiled in 1922.   

This lovely bronze is nicknamed "Dream Lady" as it illustrates a female angel from the Field's poem "The Rock-A-By Lady." 

The Rock-A-By Lady by Eugene Field

The Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street
Comes stealing; comes creeping;
The poppies they hang from her head to her feet,
And each hath a dream that is tiny and fleet -
She bringeth her poppies to you, my sweet,
When she findeth you sleeping!

There is one little dream of a beautiful drum -
"Rub-a-dub!" it goeth;
There is one little dream of a big sugar-plum,
And lo! thick and fast the other dreams come
Of popguns that bang, and tin tops that hum,
And a trumpet that bloweth!

And dollies peep out of those wee little dreams
With laughter and singing;
And boats go a-floating on silvery streams,
And the stars peek-a-boo with their own misty gleams,
And up, up, and up, where the Mother Moon beams,
The fairies go winging!

Would you dream all these dreams that are tiny and fleet?
They'll come to you sleeping;
So shut the two eyes that are weary, my sweet,
For the Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street,
With poppies that hang from her head to her feet,
Comes stealing; comes creeping.

Video designed and produced by Kristin Noelle Smith


Friedrich von Schiller Statue

In Chicago's Lincoln Park...

at the Schiller statue unveiling in May of 1886, after Miss Lena Stuedli recited Schiller's poem "The Words of Belief," the crowd cheered and the flag veiling the statue was dropped.

"Giants in the Park" Walking and Biking Tours

The Words of Belief by Friedrich Schiller

Three words will I name thee--around and about,
From the lip to the lip, full of meaning, they flee;
But they had not their birth in the being without,
And the heart, not the lip, must their oracle be!
And all worth in the man shall forever be o'er
When in those three words he believes no more.

Man is made free!--Man by birthright is free,
Though the tyrant may deem him but born for his tool.
Whatever the shout of the rabble may be--
Whatever the ranting misuse of the fool--
Still fear not the slave, when he breaks from his chain,
For the man made a freeman grows safe in his gain.

And virtue is more than a shade or a sound,
And man may her voice, in this being, obey;
And though ever he slip on the stony ground,
Yet ever again to the godlike way,
To the science of good though the wise may be blind,
Yet the practice is plain to the childlike mind.

And a God there is!--over space, over time,
While the human will rocks, like a reed, to and fro,
Lives the will of the holy--a purpose sublime,
A thought woven over creation below;
Changing and shifting the all we inherit,
But changeless through all one immutable spirit

Hold fast the three words of belief--though about
From the lip to the lip, full of meaning, they flee;
Yet they take not their birth from the being without--
But a voice from within must their oracle be;
And never all worth in the man can be o'er,
Till in those three words he believes no more.

Video designed and produced by Kristin Noelle Smith


takes A Walk in the Park

By winter’s end, the well has run dry of indoor activities to do with our children (or grandchildren). We become restless and ready to make a mad dash out of the house by the time spring makes its arrival. Thankfully, we have beautiful Lincoln Park, welcoming us with open arms at this time of year.
Krista August, and her activity book Giants in the Park, will turn a walk in the park with your family into an adventure...
Please select above link to read more.

And, thank you Classic Chicago for featuring Giants in the Park!


Author Greg Borzo reviews 

Giants in the Park ACTIVITY BOOK 

for growing giants

Giants in the Park Activity Book for Growing Giants by Krista August.
Lincoln Park Press, December 14, 2015
Large Format Paperback, 64 pages.


What do William Shakespeare, Alexander Hamilton and Philip Henry Sheridan have in common? They are all Giants in the Park, as in statues that adorn Chicago’s Lincoln Park. And in the hands of Krista August—a skilled author, artist, lecturer and tour guide—they and more than a dozen other inspiring figures that were cast in bronze or chiseled out of stone now reside in the park have much to teach students about history, literature, politics, warfare, and many other things.

In Giants in the Park Activity Book for Growing Giants, August masterfully draws on Lincoln Park’s outdoor, public statuary to engage students in the stories behind these figures and the lessons they convey about a wide range of topics—everything from the Chicago Fire to Ben Franklin’s vices and virtues.

It’s clear that August was also an elementary and middle school teacher because this book’s well-defined activities are sure to appeal to students (from third grade to above) by capturing their interest and sparking their curiosity.

Students benefit from the book’s text, images and activities. In addition, after completing the activities, the students—“growing giants”—could follow-up with a fieldtrip to Lincoln Park to see the freely accessible giants, look for the details described in the book, and test their understanding of the book’s lessons. They could also search for additional statues and monuments in the park, all of which August expertly described and drew as watercolors in her Giants in the Park (Independently published, Chicago, 2011 and 2015), the guidebook upon which this activity book is based. Within the pages of these two tomes, students will find plenty of ideas for history fair projects and term paper topics.

The activity book is remarkable in several ways:

-       Its attractive layout features ample white space that just begs to be filled in with words and numbers, names and dates, colors and collages.
-       Its broad blend of activities (games and exercises, puzzles and quizzes, fill-in-the-blanks and essay questions) offer students an appealing array of entry points and will encourage them to keep turning the pages.
-       Its novel combination of references (audio and video; internet-based and traditional text; maps, photos and drawings) will help attract and keep students’ attention in their fast-paced, multitasking world.
-       Its eclectic fusion of topics addresses a large variety of issues and shows students how important it is to be well-versed across subjects.

My only beef with this book is that I would have liked it to include more lessons about Lincoln Park’s metal and stone statuary: Friedrich von Schiller and his Ode to Joy (“All men will become brothers”); George Solti and his music (the Chicago Symphony Orchestra); Charles Tyson Yerkes and his Electric Fountain (why was he so reviled?); the misfortune of lost statues (the stolen Ludwig van Beethoven bust); the Eugene Fields Memorial’s Dream Lady (and her sleep-inducing poppy seeds); etc. Young enquiring minds will want to know! But by making history and art fun, Giants in the Park Activity Book for Growing Giants will lead students to seek out these additional statues on their own, to investigate how and why they came to be, and to explore the monumental stories these silent statues have to tell.

Greg Borzo, author of the Chicago “L” and Where to Bike Chicago