Saturday, May 30, 2015

Poetry Friday: Sharing Some Shadows

Here's a little poem by Robert Louis Stevenson to accompany Julie Paschkis's reflective new post over at Books Around the Table. When I was little, I remember reading that line about the "india-rubber ball" and thinking it was so exotic, so strange....ditto the word "nursie"....I had to ask my mom what both of them meant! Read Julie P.'s post, then head over to Reflections on the Teche, where Margaret hosts the Poetry Friday round-up.



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.


  1. I love this little poem--so much that I parodied it, in a way you'll appreciate if you're of a certain age. It was included in the qarrtsiluni (online publication now defunct) set of Imitation poems. You can read it HERE.

  2. Oh, Violet, that's a GREAT parody - and I certainly do know the sensation!