Friday, May 15, 2009

Scenes from childhood

A few days ago I went through all my books. That's because in early February a water pipe burst outside our townhouse, water seeped onto and under the laminate in the den, and all the flooring had to be replaced. The books, which live in that room, were packed into boxes and moldered in the garage for weeks (funny how you NEED them when they're not available). I only moved them back a few days ago.

And so I got to revisit all my books, like the ones I saved from when the kids were little. The battered old board-book - A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson - is one.

I'll bet you can recite with me:


The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
O, 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!

And remember...


Of speckled eggs the birdie sings
And nests among the trees;
The sailor sings of ropes and things
In ships upon the seas.

The children sing in far Japan
The children sing in Spain;
The organ with the organ man
Is singing in the rain.

And finally, this one kids throughout the northern hemisphere must be thinking, if not reciting, at this time of year:

Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candlelight.
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?

I must keep this old relic of a book handy so that I can introduce it to my grand-baby when he next comes to visit (although at 15 months, he may be a little young... oh well).


PFThis is a post for Poetry Friday.

See all the Poetry Friday blogs at Kelly Polark

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