Sunday, November 8, 2009

...on the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson

I wonder if I've made it clear in writing sporadically on this little online journal of mine, exactly how important the written word is to me. I've had my nose in a book since about the time I learned how to read. I started writing poetry in 6th grade. Everyone told me it was wonderful. Now that I look back though, I think it probably wasn't all that good. Love of the written word has not lessened as I have grown older. It has blossomed into an appreciation for good modern literary writing, a love of the classics, a slight obsession with Jane Austen, and now, with writing my own words. Where did this come from? I often ask myself. I think everyone is given to certain tendencies, things they naturally gravitate to. I think I would have been a reader/writer whatever my background, but I truly believe that I found these things earlier in life due to the influence of, my mother. Nora Lee the saint. Seriously, not kidding about the saint thing. My mother, how to describe this woman? I don't have the words. I'll have to illustrate for you instead. I grew up on the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson. My mother laying next to me in my bed tracing her finger slowly across my face, over my cheeks, along my forehead, down my nose, and singing softly in her clear as a bell voice, the words to "The Swing" and "My Shadow." Beautiful children's poetry written by a superior mind, made more magical in the melody of a mothers voice. Literature soothes me. Reading a book makes me feel happy, content. Poetry is like music. It's not hard to see why. Thanks, Mom.

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.
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 goes 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 behind 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.

ps. I sang that song to Carter tonight, Mom. He smiled the whole time.


Giles Fam said...

I love poetry, too! And reading for that matter--probably why I was an English major. :) How fun to share that connection between you and your mom with your kids. Love it!

Forever Young said...

Cori, that took me right back to my 5 year old self singing with mom and all my sisters on the bed. What a lucky bunch we were/are. I am so happy when I think back on those wonderful and magical goodnight routines.