Judith at Reader in the Wilderness hosts this meme – Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times. I am enjoying this meme, looking round my actual bookshelves and re-discovering books I’ve read or am looking forward to reading. The idea is to share your bookshelves with other bloggers. Any aspect you like:
Whatever you fancy as long as you have fun basically. My shelf this week is a mixed shelf, mainly poetry books.
I’m just going to pick out a few, starting with my childhood favourite, A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. This is not the copy I had as a child as that disappeared years ago. I learnt lots of these by heart and used to recite them out loud. One of my favourite which was so true for me as a child is Bed in Summer. Older children would be playing in the road, but I had to go to bed and I would look out of the window and wish I was outside with them. This brings it all back!
Bed in Summer In winter I get up at night And dress in yellow candlelight. In summer quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day. I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree, Or hear the grown-up people's feet Still going past me in the street. And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play, To have to go to bed by day?
Next is William Wordsworth: Selected Poetry. Wordsworth’s poem Daffodils was another poem I loved to recite, but I also love My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold:
My heart leaps up when I behold A Rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a Man; So be it when I grow old, Or let me die! The Child is Father to the Man; Or let me die! And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety.
Then The Waste Land and other poems by T S Eliot. I studied The Waste Land as part of an OU course I took and my copy is surrounded by pencil notes that I made then. I don’t think I’d have read it if it hadn’t been part of the course, but I’m glad I did, although I’m sure I didn’t understand some of it.
Of the other poems in this collection Journey of the Magi is my favourite. It begins:
'A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of year For a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter.'
One of my favourite poems is in The Poetry Anthology for the OU. It is Not Waving But Drowning by Stevie Smith:
Nobody heard him, the dead man But still he lay moaning; I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning. Poor chap, he always loved larking And now he's dead It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way They said. Oh, no, no, no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning) I was much too far out all my life And not waving, but drowning.