A Child’s Garden of Verses

Wowee, what a revelation! I can remember being charmed by some of the poems in this book when I was little, especially ” The Land of Counterpane,”and “From a Railway Carriage”is still a classic but I hadn’t realised how dated it is. My copy has very sugary illustrations and I found the constant reference to “nursie” irritating but there is a severe lack of political correctness, partly, I believe, because it was written from a boy’s point of view and partly because, in an effort to include other countries Stevenson could not help but show the attitudes of the time (1920) The poem “Foreign Children” is offensive to modern eyes and there is a mention of the word “negro” which I would argue should be left as it is true to the period and not meant in a derogatory manner.

“The Lamplighter”could start a history lesson. “Windy Nights” could be the inspiration for an English lesson and there would be a lot of mileage in asking why so many poems were full of marching and drums and fighting. When I was young we all played war games, cowboys and indians, lead soldiers. I even used chess pieces as armies. That was then and this is now.

Thanks for making me look again at a book I treasured .

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juliecroundblog

I am a retired schoolteacher now writing novels on the Sussex coast where I live with my husband. I record for the Voice of Progress talking newspaper and am the publicity secretary for the Worthing Friendship Centre. I also give talks on my life and works to local groups.

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