Did you know that the man who wrote DR. JECKLL AND MR. HYDE also wrote children’s poetry?
In the process of moving I found a book, THE CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES, which my husband had saved from his childhood. Not in pristine condition, since it was dated Christmas, 1937,. it is slightly tattered from use and, some of the poems checked off with pencil, perhaps to mark as his favorites.
The author, Robert Louis Stevenson, is probably familiar to most of us, having read TREASURE ISLAND and KIDNAPPED as children. He is well known as creating books and short stories of horror and suspense, but who would suspect him to write such delicate and innocent poetry that would appeal to a child?
One of my favorite poems from the book is 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.
There are three more verses to follow, that are equally as charming.
.Another little gem is a short verse that you can easily envision, AT THE SEASIDE;
When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore
My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up,
Till it could come no more.
This famous writer of many great and powerful stories had never lost the wisdom of a child. A quote attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson is as follows: ‘DON’T JUDGE EACH DAY BY THE HARVEST YOU REAP, BUT BY THE SEEDS THAT YOU PLANT,” Oh, that we could all live by his words.