Autograph Book – Poesie Album
While reorganizing my house, I found my mother’s Autograph Book (Poesie Album) which inspired me to write this post. I wanted to know if there were similar traditions here in the United States. Luckily I found some used Autograph books online.
Unfortunately, I lost my own album, but I do remember how exciting it was to give my friendship book to classmates, teachers, friends and family members for them to write a few lines and sign them. My book was a square book, and the color was green. I had the luxury of being able to lock it with a small key. The lock enabled me to decide who to trust and be allowed to write in the book.
What lyrics to write in an Autograph Book?
The short signed lyrics were usually two to six lines and were all about friendship, faith and respect. The text was surrounded by beautiful drawings or scrap pictures (Glanzbilder) which are still available here
The poems could be a proverb, a saying, an aphorism, a slogan, a quote or a phrase or just something the friend or classmate made up, all with the intention to create a lasting memory.
Below you will find rhymes in German and in English. Some of them are from my mother’s album and were written in the early 40s and others are from the 50s and 60s. While reading both versions of the Autograph Book, I realized that the content is quite similar, even though, they are written in two different countries with different backgrounds.
Wouldn’t it be great, to bring this tradition back? I will definitely give it a try with my grandchildren.