Saturday, August 24, 2013


My Shadow

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.
Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947)


Vee said...

Hadn't thought about this poem for years! Too bad kids don't memorize poems and nursery rhymes any more.

Shelly said...

I remember my grandma reading me this poem when I was very young. I'm with Vee- poetry memorization has pretty much gone out the window nowadays, and sadly.

Sharkbytes said...

One of my childhood favorites. Thanks for the reminder.

Grace said...

Photos of shadows are very cool...I still recite that poem to myself - not the whole thing mind, can't remember the whole thing but enough. And bits and pieces of 'Bed In Summer". One of the lovely things about school, back in the day when education was the goal rather than passing SOL's - we had to memorize a poem a week and recite it in front of the class - So Stevenson was done quite a bit in the lower grades and "barefoot boy with cheek of tan..." 'Trees' (Kilmer), of course, but I remember the poems that really captured my imagination were ones like 'The Highwayman"(Noyes) and 'Sea Fever' (Masefield)...

vanilla said...

Vee, seems we have thrown out so much that humanizes us.

Shelly, the children's loss; nay, we all lose. You were blessed to have Grandma to read to you!

Sharkey, a good day for a reminder of some of the good things of the past.

Grace, as recently as my years as an elementary teacher I was still "requiring" memorization and recitation. I think I learned "Trees" in fifth grade, and so much more. Tlot,tlot; tlot,tlot!