Friday, June 3, 2016


For the past couple of weeks, as I have watched sleepy children yawning their way through class, I have been thinking about the poem, "Bed in Summer" by Robert Louis Stevenson. I learned that poem when I was a very little girl, from the book, A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES. That book, pictured above, is actually one of the first poetry books I ever owned, was given to me by my Grandma Wilcox, my dad's mom. I think it's where the language of poetry wormed its way into my soul. Here are a few of the poems I remember loving as a little girl.
(I apologize for the weird spacing. Blogspot is being really ugly this morning and I don't have time to redo the whole post).
"Bed in Summertime"
In winter I get up at night   
And dress by yellow candle-light.   
In summer, quite the other way,   
I have to go to bed by day.   
I have to go to bed and see          
The birds still hopping on the tree,   
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet   
Still going past me in the street.   
And does it not seem hard to you,   
When all the sky is clear and blue,   
And I should like so much to play,   
To have to go to bed by day?

The Swing
How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue? 
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing 
   Ever a child can do! 
Up in the air and over the wall, 
   Till I can see so wide, 
Rivers and trees and cattle and all 
   Over the countryside— 
Till I look down on the garden green, 
   Down on the roof so brown— 
Up in the air I go flying again, 
   Up in the air and down!
Robert Louis Stevenson
"My Shadow"
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.
He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
Jone McCullough has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Check it Out. 


Books4Learning said...

Love the shadow poem. The author captures an everyday part of live in a funny and thoughtful way.

Sally Murphy said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. That book was - and still is - one of my favourites.

Violet N. said...

I love these poems and I like the beautiful cover of this edition.

Mary Lee said...

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Oh, oops. I just went to get the last lines right and I see that this has been misremembered as RL Stevenson, but is C Rossetti! I guess it still fits in the category of "one of the first poems I ever loved."

Carol Varsalona said...

A great remembrance, Carol, for all of us-thanks for sharing. (Reminder that I am now collecting #imagepoems for my spring gallery.)

Donna Smith said...

Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verses" was how I was introduced to the world of poetry. I will forever be grateful!

Bridget Magee said...

Yay, more RLS! Something is in the these selections, Carol. =)

Becky Shillington said...

I LOVE RLS! Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful poems!

Ramona said...

Life's been so crazy lately that I've missed many blog posts. Two things I love in your post:
" I think it's where the language of poetry wormed its way into my soul." Copied this into my writer's notebook. I think I may have to write about this sometime after I spend some time figuring out when the language of poetry wormed its way into my soul.
"Blogspot is being really ugly this morning..." I've been spending far too much time lately fighting with blogspot. AARGH!!