Books have always played a very important role in my life. In fact, some of my earliest happy memories revolve around books, and one in particular that I have incredibly fond memories of is A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. I can remember as a child sitting curled up reading my paperback copy (which is now very dog-eared) from cover to cover with the imagination of a child, totally losing myself in the story of each poem.
Tonight, while going through my South Carolina photos and trying to decide what to write about, I found a photo that immediately brought to mind one of my favourite poems from A Child’s Garden of Verses called My Shadow. I’m quite sure that many of you will remember this poem from your own childhood, but if not this is how it goes:
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 goes 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 behind 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.
And here’s the photo that prompted this post:
I’ve posted beach shadow photos before, but I really like the composition of this shot because of the ocean in the background.
So, have you ever had a photo awaken such a strong memory for you?
A wonderful post Cindy – very clever to tie that special shadow photo to the poem and to your childhood memories. 🙂
Thanks Dor :). I haven’t thought about that book in a long time, and now I really want to read some of the poems again. I am really not a huge poetry fan, but these poems have always had a special place in my heart! Have you read the book?
No, I haven’t read the book, believe it or not, but I remember the poem. I do love poetry though. Also, P.S. I have nominated you for the WordPress Family Award. For details, go to: http://countryliving4beginners.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/an-award-from-the-family/ . You are definitely a BIG part of my blogging family. 🙂
And you are definitely a HUGE part of mine :). Thank you so much for the award, but as I said in my comment on your award blog, I have been really negligent in keeping up with blogging awards lately. I do really appreciate it though!!
Love the photo (& the verse that you included in this post). I remember that poem from my childhood also, but alas not much more.
I know what you are saying. My hubby has incredibly detailed, vivid memories of his entire childhood, while mine are more vague and sporadic, but I clearly remember reading this book of poems all the time and loving every moment :).
Your shadows here evoke a wish to write a story about 2 people on horses meeting up with Laurel & Hardy! Just call me weird, that’s what popped into my head!
Ok, believe it or not, I can see it now too :). That’s too funny!!
dude I didn’t know you like to read 🙂 Love the playfulness of the photo and yes some of my photos transport me back to a different time.
LOL!! I know it’s hard to believe :). Glad you enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun to do.
My father used to read that poem to us in the 1950s. I’m glad it’s still alive for people of a following generation, like you, but my experiences as a teacher make me fairly sure that if you stopped a hundred kids at random today, you’d be lucky to find one who’d ever heard of Robert Louis Stevenson or had read anything he wrote.
It’s so nice to find someone else who remembers it :). I think that A Child’s Garden of Verses would be a wonderful way for teachers to introduce poetry to young children. They are such fun poems – such great adventures described in them too.
Beautiful in both sentiment and words and pic. You really know how to capture something perfectly–
Thank you LouAnn! That means a great deal to me :).
Awwh that’s such a cute poem, I like the simple ones and I’ve never heard this before. 🙂 They have to rhyme as well, I don’t really understand the purpose of poetry that doesn’t rhyme, it just doesn’t work to me! 😛
The shot is lovely as well, it makes me feel all serene.
Oh Becky, you should really try to get your hands on a copy of this book. I’m not a big poetry fan at all, but I always loved these poems. There’s another one about some kids building a ship with cushions and stuff (I think) on the stairs in their house, and then they have an adventure. It’s just wonderful, and as a child I used to imagine I was going on the adventure with them :).
Love it…excellent post Cindy.
Thanks so much Edith 🙂
Oh, yes, the book is wonderful, and I remember it, and this piece, quite well. And, yes again, many a photo has brought back a childhood memory of mine. I believe we archive some of our favorite visual memories–and not only from childhood–and, as photographers, recall one of them them when an appropriate opportunity presents itself, and use its inspiration to help us to create a more substantial version of that memory that we can share.
That’s the beauty of photography isn’t it? It allows us to record all of our most precious memories, so that we will never forget :). It’s nice to hear that you remembered the poem too Gary. I’m thinking that I need to dig that book out and read it again. It really is wonderful :).
My Mom used to read that poem to me and now my son asks her to read it to him too. Great memories, thanks for posting it!
You are very welcome :). It’s so nice to find other people who love it as much as I do! Welcome to my blog by the way.