Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Today's poem by Robert Louis Stevenson


To Any Reader

As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.

A Child's Garden of Verses
Robert Louis Stevenson

19 comments:

  1. Lovely poem. I had not seen it before. Thanks. By the way Nan, were you refreshed by your time off?

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  2. It is lovely, isn't it. And somehow it felt like late August to me.
    I've meant to write about the no-computer time, but haven't had a chance.

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  3. Thanks, Nan, so nice to be reminded of the Child's Garden of Verse -- and of childhood. The one that always comes into my mind when the seasons change is: "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 remember the light nights of Northern Europe and the short days ... R.L.Stevenson captured so much through--or for--the eyes of a child.

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    1. I own a biography of him I'm hoping to read soon. I don't know much about the man. But I do love those poems.

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  4. This is such a beautiful, wistful poem, Nan. It makes me a little sad...

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    1. I felt that too. And so beautifully expressed.

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  5. Thanks for reminding me of this, Nan. I have the book somewhere, must fish it out. It was given to me for my 5th or 6th birthday, I think. Isn't there a poem about a lamplighter in there somewhere? 'Oh Leerie, light the lamps...' is all I can recall.

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    1. The whole thing is online here:

      http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/stevenson/collections/childs_garden_of_verses.html

      and there is indeed a poem called The Lamplighter.

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  6. In “The Best-loved poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis / (selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy).” ISBN 0-7868-6809-0 are three poems by Robert Louis Stevenson. Included are THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE, THE SWING, and BED IN SUMMER. It’s a wonderful collection and there are photographs galore of the family. Highly recommended for anyone partial to poetry and remembers reading Robert Louis Stevenson to their children.

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    1. I've emailed my library and asked them to ILL it. I've been meaning to read this, and She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poetry. Thank you for the reminder!
      I have a little Golden Book of a few RLS poems that I still love.

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  7. Almost bittersweet...

    Thanks for posting this, Nan!

    - J.

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  8. Radio 4 (UK) recently did a radio play of RLS when he travelled across the US to be with the woman he loved. Starred David Tennant. If you can get it at all it is worth a listen.

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    1. I must see if I can get this station. I hear of such wonders it presents. You are very lucky this is just part of your radio life! Thanks. I hope I can find it.

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    2. I found it online!! If anyone reading this is interested here's the address:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b016fs6f/Afternoon_Drama_Stevenson_in_Love_The_Amateur_Emigrant/

      I also get BBC 4 on my Apple TV. So I am psyched!

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  9. I didn't remember this lovely poem, but several other Child's Garden of Verses" poems are embedded in my memory. Thank you for this one.

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    1. I didn't either. I was going to post another, more familiar one, but this one tugged at my heart, and I wanted to put it on the blog.

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  10. Nan, what a lovely poem to post. I don't know this one as well as some of the others that have already been mentioned, some of which I used to able to recite by heart... doubt I could do it now though.

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    1. I think this one is less familiar. It has more of an adult sensibility than the others. I like how Kay called it 'wistful' and Jeff said 'bittersweet.'

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