Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Child's Garden of Verses

A Child's Garden of Verses. Robert Louis Stevenson. 1885. 67 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence:
"Bed In Summer"
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candlelight.
Premise/plot: A Child's Garden of Verses is a collection of children's poems by Robert Louis Stevenson. Some of his best poems are often featured in other collections that have been published through the decades. Even if you've never "read" this one in its entirety, chances are you'll be familiar with a handful of these poems. For example, "My Shadow," and "The Swing."

My thoughts: This is one of my mom's favorites. I recently handed her a copy of Kidnapped to read. She told me that her FAVORITE Stevenson book was A Child's Garden of Verses. She then proceeded to start quoting lines from five or six different poems.

I liked this one. I definitely found myself loving one or two of these poems. Not all of the poems hold up well. (I speak of the poem entitled "Foreign Children.") But plenty of his poems are still worth reading.
Picture Books in Winter
Summer fading, winter comes--
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children's eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are,
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies' looks,
In the picture story-books.

How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture-story books?
Block City

What are you able to build with your blocks?
Castles and palaces, temples and docks.
Rain may keep raining, and others go roam,
But I can be happy and building at home.
Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea,
There I'll establish a city for me:
A kirk and a mill and a palace beside,
And a harbor as well where my vessels may ride.
Great is the palace with pillar and wall,
A sort of a tower on top of it all,
And steps coming down in an orderly way
To where my toy vessels lie safe in the bay.
This one is sailing and that one is moored:
Hark to the song of the sailors on board!
And see on the steps of my palace, the kings
Coming and going with presents and things!

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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