It’s Poetry Friday. Hooray! In my thesis, which is (hopefully) nearing completion, one of the things I touch on is how poems made me feel as a child, and how the poems I loved and learned as a child have stayed with me. Yesterday, for no discernible reason, Robert Louis Stevenson’s My Shadow popped into my head, and I found myself reciting it. I then had to look it up to see if I’d got it right – funnily, I had completely forgotten the ‘nursie’ stanza, but the rest I had down-pat. So, of course, I thought today that this should be the poem I share.
by R.L. Stevenson
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 gets 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 beside 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.
(This poem is in the public domain)
And, because I missed last Friday because I was at the beach, here’s my shadow last Friday!
Poetry Friday today is hosted by Violet Nesdoly, who has chosen a perfect poem to share today. Head over to see her choice and the Poetry Friday Roundup.