“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech.” - Simonides of Ceos

Sunday, July 31, 2016

"My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson



Perhaps better known for his fiction works such as Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson was also a prolific poet, publishing a handful of collections of poems. "My Shadow" was first published in 1885 in a collection titled A Child’s Garden of Verses. The poem is a wonderful snapshot of childhood wonder and innocence.

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Program Credits

Announcer: Thomas Lamar
Narrator: Jeffrey K. Holbrook
Composer: Natasha Green
Sound Design & Mixing: Christopher Green
Photography: Scott Liddell
Producer/Director: J.D. Sutter

Entry on Wikipedia for Robert Louis Stevenson
Stevenson's Bio on the Poetry Foundation

Robert Louis Stevenson, December 1870
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rsl1.jpg

"My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson

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.

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