Reading Word Songs and Whimsies is like taking a ride on a magical tandem bicycle: the author pedals and steers, and the reader travels behind, viewing the sights selected by the author. Your tour brings you to the violent ward of a mental hospital in the 1950s and (sixty years later) to a farmer with a rebellious billy goat. Along the way you examine flowers, clouds, and trees--and you pause to consider the songs of the tree toad and the cricket. You speed past pictures of the sins of youth, and you stop to examine portraits of old age, framed with fear and faith. Ragged, struggling, and saintly people appear as you push along, and at intervals you have time for rest and reassurance as you pause before wayside shrines depicting the love of Jesus. Sometimes a scene is touched with humor or pathos--or even with a pinch of irony; and sometimes a misty picture wants a second look. Always the motion of the verse and the sounds of the poetry help to make your journey smooth.