Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)




Wednesday, September 1, 2010

THE POETRY OF ROBERT LEWIS STEVENSON


I'll never forget the up-and-down lilt of my mother's voice as she recited "The Swing", and how it matched the rhythm and sway of my body gliding through the air on the swing set at our small neighborhood playground.  With each push from her and pump of my legs, I'd go higher and higher, trying to get "up in the air and over the wall", just like the child in the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson.  My own children heard this rhyme from me, as I pushed them on our backyard swing set, or read to them from A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES -- the collection of poems that Stevenson originally wrote for his own children.


THE SWING

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!


TIME TO RISE

A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon my window sill,
Cocked his shining eye and said:
"Ain't you 'shamed, you sleepy-head!"

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.




My children are now grown and the swing sets are empty, but someday my grandchildren will fill the seats and I'll recite THE SWING again... 

Black and White Swing Painting by Vishinsky


4 comments:

  1. Oh... I feel cheated! I've never read The Swing before!! It's gorgeous! But I will say it to my friend's little girl the next time I take her to the park! And if I am blessed to have grandchildren someday... it won't get by me again!
    But, "At the Seaside" is one I knew. My children would giggle and giggle as the plot happened to them just as in the poem!
    Thanks for this!
    Ann

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  2. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS!!!

    Fr. Stephen Lourie

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  3. The swing photo is Sergei Vishinsky not Vashinsky

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  4. Thank you - noted and fixed!

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