Friday, June 01, 2007

Daisy Lupin's Poetry Fest

Daisy Lupin has started a new blog devoted to poetry and the theme for June is Poetry we loved as Children.

The poems I loved as a child were by Robert Louis Stevenson in A Child's Garden of Verses. My Great Aunty Sally, who was my mother's aunt, gave me this book for my birthday one year. I was reminded of it when I read Pinkerton's Sister (wonderful book, full of allusions that brought back so many memories including this book of verses). Unfortunately I can no longer find the original book she gave me and so last year I bought this edition.

There are so many poems in here that I liked that it's hard to choose just one. So, I 'vepicked three.

This one I learnt and used to recite as fast as I could, trying to imitate the speed of a train:

From a Railway Carriage

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever!

Another favourite was:

Windy Nights

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at se,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he;
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

I could go on and on, but I'll finish with this, which was so true for me as a child. Other children would be playing in the road, but I had to go to bed (well they were a bit older than me) and I would look out of the window and wish I was outside with them. This brings it all back!

Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night
And dress in 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?

5 comments:

Rowan said...

Oh yes, I'd forgotten 'Windy Nights'! I've always loved that, RLS wrote some wonderful things for children, We had The Child's Garden of Verse when my children were young, it's probably still up in the attic. Actually I think one of the reasons I love 'Windy Nights' is the same thing that attracts me to the Byron poem that I've chosen foreamrk Daisy's Fest - it's the lovely rythmic feel to it.

BooksPlease said...

Yes, I agree. I particularly like the rythym and it's also a bit mysterious and scary - that unknown horseman galloping about - why? And why does he come back?

Daisy Lupin said...

Thanks, your choices will appear on my poetry site sometime tomorrow {saturday}. I also love Windy Nights, it was scary but I used to think about it in bed as a child with my hottie on windy late autumn nights.
I also tracked down and bought a new Child's Treasury of Verse a couple of months back, again not the lovely edition I once had.
I will be to read more of your blog, as I am a book addict too, and I want to read about what you have read, to see if I have or to find new books.

Emily Barton said...

Oh. A Child's Garden of Verses was my favorite, too, growing up. So funny one of the three you chose is "Bed in Summer." I can still recite that one by heart.

BooksPlease said...

Daisy, it was hard choosing between these poems, so I gave up and I too, used to think about it in bed with the wind battering the house!

Oh Emily, I can still recite that one by heart too.