I was calmly preparing to write a book review yesterday afternoon when it struck me that I needed to choose a poem for Tuesday’s Rhyme Time. So, of course, I put away my writing material and pulled out a few poetry books from the growing stack of books on my table.
I really wasn’t in the mood for Keats. Spike Mulligan didn’t interest me at the moment either. I felt like reading something in between solemnly beautiful and crazily funny. Something light and entertaining, but not too entertaining either – I just didn’t have the energy for it right then. And although I didn’t think R.L. Stevenson suitable to the mood I was in, I decided to flip through a collection of his poems anyway.
Up until now my exposure to R.L. Stevenson was limited to ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’. And what I was reading this fortunate afternoon was a random collection of his poems, a book I’d picked up on a whim at the Delhi book market for the simple reason that it was sold to me for ten Rupees. But after having spent the afternoon reading aloud nearly the entire book (it isn’t a very large book) I was extremely glad – for two reasons. I’d found the perfect verses to suit my mood and second, the business side of me was completely satisfied that I had got more than my money’s worth for this amazing book!
After some difficulty in choosing which poem to post today I’ve finally settled on this one poem. I hope you will like it as much as I do.
To Any Reader
As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.