Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Poem in Your Pocket...

School Days by Jesse Wilcox

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.

by Robert Louis Stevens


When I was a first grader under the kind and expert tutelage of my teacher, I so loved this poem she read to our class that I had to make myself a copy and keep it on my dresser at home. I guess that was my earliest effort at having a poem of my own, or a poem in my pocket. As all of you poets and lovers of poetry know, April is national poetry month, and today is national "Poem in your Pocket Day." (For more details, click on the title of this post.)

The poem in my pocket today is by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spáre, strange;
Whatever is fickle, frecklèd (who knows how?)
With swíft, slów; sweet, sóur; adázzle, dím;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is pást change:

Práise hím.


Which poem is in your pocket today?


willow said...

Ah, I, too, love all things counter, original, spáre, and strange.

I'm working on my poetry manuscript today, so my pockets are stuffed!

Country Girl said...

I so loved your childhood favorite, a poem I've never read before. What a treat.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog, today! Yours is beautiful, and I love both poems that you posted. I adored Robert Louis Stevenson's poetry when I was a child -- I still remember the book of poems and the illustrations -- the one you posted and The Swing were my favorites, I think! And Hopkins -- well, I'm not sure how to express how much I love him! Thank you and I look forward to visiting more often!

Derrick said...

Hello FireLight,

Fabulously poetic header! Thanks for two poems new to me. The RSL would entice many little ones to explore further. The poem in my pocket is my own as I've been writing one a day for your poetry month. Last one coming up shortly! I hope you might manage to read a few.

Derrick said...

Make that RLS!!

Martin H. said...

Two wonderful poems here. The first, a childhood favourite. The second, blissful.

Sandra said...

Thanks for the beautiful poetry; I love Hopkins but what a tortured soul!

Perle said...

I watched my shadow with awe since reading My Shadow as a child. I wondered if it was an entity just a little separate from me; I'd turn quickly to see if she was doing something different instead of just mimicking me.

Charles Ghigna suggested (on FB) that I vist. Glad I did. I'll be back.

Michael said...

I really enjoyed this selection M....two poets I really do need to read more.
Tell me, how does that plate stay full of the scrummy Grasmere gingerbread?....grinning.

FireLight said...

Michael, my boys love this so much I really do have to bake a batch once a week...but a new photo is in order! So good to find you here!
I thought of you recently when we were studying "Not Waving, But Drowning" in my senior classes! I even referenced your comments on the poem!

Betsy said...

Happy Mother's Day, Firelight! I hope your day was special! :)

About Me

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat