Wednesday, 19 May 2010

My Shadow

As children most of us are fascinated by shadows, there is something about the way our shadow is almost always with us; it often becomes an imaginary friend. How many of us enjoyed making shadow animals on the wall, perhaps we still do! I think JM Barrie was very aware of this attraction when we hear of Peter Pan's shadow being trapped in a drawer and then sewn back on by Wendy. 
I was reminded of a poem I loved reading as a child.
My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson


From Child's Garden of Verses

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.

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