Amusement Reciting Childhood Verse

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
It's not unusual for me to dream about writing. It can be useful, such as providing inspiration with a plot dilemma, or tedious if I continue to edit a completed manuscript.

Recently, I've been learning how to blog on WordPress, which has produced a few filing dreams, where I move writing from one place to another. Last night, while laying in bed, I read the introduction to Gwynne's Grammar: The Ultimate Introduction To Grammar And The Writing Of Good English followed by another chapter of Guy Leschziner's The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience and the Secret World of Sleep

As I fell asleep, I wondered how that strange combination would affect my dreams. Strangely, it produced poetry. I woke this morning, reciting a poem I'd been encouraged to learn when I was seven-years-old, to perform for visiting relatives to show what a clever boy I was (gratuities gratefully accepted!). :rolleyes:

I dimly recall that this poem was in a Ladybird Book of Verse:

As I walked up the gravelled dive

that leads along to number 5,

methought I saw a fuzzy panda

sitting upon the white verandah.

But when I was a wee bit nearer,

the funny thing became much clearer.

'Twas only a gee-gee and a hee-haw,

both in their pyjamas playing seesaw!

The only other poem I remember as a childhood party piece is this one:

"It's rather dark in the world today. "
Said one little bulb to his brother,
"But I thought I heard a sunbeam say,
We must strive and grow till we find the way."
And they nestled close to each other.

They struggled and toiled by day and by night,
Till two little snowdrops in green and white
Rose out of the darkness and into the light
And softly kissed one another.


Both these poems were written by the prolific Anonymous, probably a waged employee for Ladybird Books, who may have derived satisfaction from knowing their verse delighted young readers.

It's strange how poetry is the most memorable form of writing, yet it's the hardest to place with a publisher. Most literary agents state that they won't accept poetry submissions.

Can you remember any poems from growing up?

Did you make your children learn verse?

I remember having to recite Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas in fourth grade. I can still rattle it off by heart. I loved poetry as a kid, and still have several of my favourite books of poems from childhood--Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle was one of my favourites (the book, and the poem from which the book gets its title). I didn't force my children to recite poetry, but we do regularly read poetry as a family, and both kids have an appreciation for verse. My daughter writes poetry, too.
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News RIP Dr John

What Would You Do? Giving up on YA agents and trying Adult