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Friday, July 17, 2009


cover of 1926 edition of A Child's Garden of Verses

I guess this is a day for poems. I've been wanting to share this one for some time. But this morning, while visiting Grampy and You, I was pushed to actually do so. Grampy regularly features children's poems from older books. And then, what a surprise to see that Lin also posted a great poem at Duck and Wheel with String.

Let me digress a moment. I was steeped in poetry as a child, and I loved it! (Still do) The picture above is the cover of my copy of A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson. This edition is illustrated by Eulalie Osgood Grover who was best known as the creator of the "Sunbonnet Babies." I can hardly choose which was my favorite book as a child, but this one would surely have been in the running.

Anyway, Grampy shared a poem called "The Circus." It's not from this book, but from another favorite book of poems I had as a child. The exotic nature of a circus just naturally led me to thinking of this poem. And between my grandmother and poems like this one, I have a terminal case of Wanderlust.

Enough talking... I've scanned the illustrations that appear in this edition with the poem. Enjoy!

illustration by Eulalie for the poem Travel


I should like to rise and go
Where the golden apples grow--
Where beyond another sky
Parrot islands anchored lie,
And, watched by cockatoos and goats,
Lonely Carusoes building boats--
Where in the sunshine reaching out
Eastern cities, miles about,
Are with mosque and minaret
Among sandy gardens set,
And the rich goods from near and far
Hang for sale in the bazaar--
Where the Great Wall round China goes,
And on one side the desert blows,
And with bell and voice and drum,
Cities on the other hum--
Where are the forests, hot as fire,
Wide as England, tall as a spire,
Full of apes and cocoa-nuts
And the negro hunters' huts--
Where the knotty crocodile
Lies and blinks in the Nile,
And the red flamingo flies
Hunting fish before his eyes--
Where in jungles, near and far,
Man-devouring tigers are,
Lying close and giving ear
Lest the hunt be drawing near,
Or a comer-by be seen
Swinging in a palanquin--
Where among the desert sands
Some deserted city stands,
All its children, sweep and prince
Grown to manhood ages since,
Not a foot in street or house,
Not a stir of child or mouse,
And when kindly falls the night,
In all the town no spark of light.
There I'll come when I'm a man
With a camel caravan;
Light a fire in the gloom
Of some dusty dining room;
See the pictures on the walls,
Heroes, fights and festivals;
And in the corner find the toys
Of the old Egyptian boys.

illustration by Eulalie for the poem Travel

See A Blue Rubber Ball
See Windy Nights
See Wander Thirst


Grampy said...

Very nice. You need to share some more with us. And thanks for the link.I am adding you to my sidebar.

LyghteKeeper said...

My Goodness, I haven't seen this poem since 5th Grade. I loved poetry, too and memorized many in 4th Grade without my teacher assigning them and she would let me recite one each week. I still remember poems like Jaberwocky and I did an entire presentation of Robert Burns complete with a "Scottish brogue" and bagpipe music. thanks for the memories!

Glynis Peters said...

Oh what a delight! I have two beautiful children's poetry books and treasure them. I loved it thanks.

betchai said...

oh, love the poem Sharkbytes,
"I should like to rise and go
Where the golden apples grow--
Where beyond another sky
Parrot islands anchored lie,
oh, i'd like to go there too :)

Lin said...

Oh, Sharky--that is a lovely poem!! What a treat to see everyone posting poems!! It is a nice surprise.

Ann said...

I wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog, what a delight when I came here and read the poem. I used to love poems when I was a kid (still do)

Ratty said...

I've never read this poem before. It makes me want to go on a great adventure, maybe even more than the everyday kind.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Grampy- That's very nice! Well, I have shared a poem from time to time. I just don't have it on a schedule. Just click on poems in the label cloud.

Hi Kath- Gosh I had forgotten that about you, if I ever knew it. I think you were in 8th grade when we met, right?

Glynis- Do you ever write poems? Books really are treasures, aren't they?

Betchai- That opening really does grab one doesn't it? Never fails to make my skin tingle!

Lin- Well, I was the one who was really surprised at the beautiful one on your site. Grampy and I do so fairly often. I'd never seen one on your site before. Of course I haven't explored all your older posts. I thought you were on blog vacation? ;-)

Hi Ann- Oh! You are the one who made the beautiful tiger striped grass picture. It's really stunning! Glad you like the poem.

Hi Ratty- Yes, it has always done that to me. Since I had these read to me from babyhood, perhaps it was even this poem where I first heard of some of these places. I've never been farther from the US than Haiti, but I'd love to be able to experience some of the exotic spots in the world.

Christa Bledsoe said...

I love poetry too. I'll have to see about getting a copy of this :)

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Christa- So glad you like it. You can just highlight the text and copy it. I'm hoping it's not still under copyright, but I'm not positive.

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