Wednesday, November 4, 2009

FreeVerse: Happiness (Milne)

I'm going to be away from computers and internet all day on Wednesday, is my suspicion, so I am testing Blogger's scheduled publishing capabilities. I do hope this won't sprain them -- it's simply a day in advance. In case you have forgotten, Wednesday is FreeVerse day over at Ooh... Books! and I have been thoroughly enjoying participating. I'm not about to let something paltry like having no internet stop me. We'll talk about novels, and writing one in November, and whether or not something like that might stop me, when we come to that bridge.

I have had a certain poem in my head for years. It pops up every once in a while to sing-song in my ear, and I knew I would have to post it sooner or later. Sooner, most likely. I had a copy of A. A. Milne's When We Were Very Young when I was very young indeed, and even before I could read something about Ernest H. Shepard's simple black-and-white ink illustrations drew me in. I think I can trace my secret love of cloche hats to Shepard's very fashionable mothers.

There are many, many wonderful poems in this book, some of which I have memorized and some of which I had apparently forgotten. But today, I give you the poem that will not leave me alone, particularly when I am walking anywhere at speed and especially if it happens to be raining.


From When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne, published in Canada by McClelland and Stewart, originally in 1925 -- I have a 1999 reprint here:


Happiness

John had
Great Big
Waterproof
Boots on;
John had a
Great Big
Waterproof
Hat;
John had a
Great Big
Waterproof
Mackintosh--
And that
(Said John)
Is
That.

8 comments:

Cara Powers said...

I just found this in my Google Reader. Next time you'll be out of town for a post, just let me know and I'll put you in the Mr. Linky, like I'm about to do now. I like the poem. And that is that.

kiirstin said...

Cara - will do! Thanks. :)

Nan said...

I was just yesterday telling a friend that there are many kinds of joy that come in a day, and they don't all involve other people. Your choice of poem is exactly that!

kiirstin said...

Nan - Absolutely! That's part of the reason I love it so much.

Vasilly said...

What a great poem! Have a good week.

kiirstin said...

Vasilly - thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed. I hope you have a great week too. :)

Darla D said...

Oh, that's one of my favorites! I also have a friend named James Morrison, so you know I love to recite that one to him, teehee. And also the one where the narrator goes walking with the puppy at the end? I think that one was my very favorite. Except maybe the changing guards at Buckingham Palace, since Christopher Robin was in it. I always pictured Alice as the Alice from the Wonderland books. Thanks for the reminder - I'm getting that book out to read to my girls tonight! I still have the one from when I was a kid. :-)

kiirstin said...

Darla - I have to confess, it was a toss-up between this poem and James James! I love that one as well. It's such a lovely book, the whole thing. I love that you used to picture Alice as *that* Alice! Very cool. One of my favourites was the one where the king wants a bit of butter for his bread, too. I had forgotten it was in this volume until I read it again.