I grew up reading and memorizing poetry. My family had a complete set of Childcraft books, circa 1954, and I spent countless hours reading books 1 and 2, the poetry books. They not only had a fantastic selection of readable poems for children, but the pictures were sublime. Burned into my malleable brain. I nabbed them when I moved out and faithfully read them to my children.
Last week when I stumbled across the stump above I immediately thought of one of my all-time favorite poems from my childhood:
Walter de la Mare
Some one came knocking
At my wee, small door;
Someone came knocking;
I listened, I opened,
I looked to left and right,
But nought there was a stirring
In the still dark night;
Only the busy beetle
Tap-tapping in the wall,
Only from the forest
The screech-owl's call,
Only the cricket whistling
While the dewdrops fall,
So I know not who came knocking,
At all, at all, at all.
And yes, I can still rattle it off without prompting!
Here's the wonderful illustration from volume 1 of Childcraft.
Don't be surprised if I treat you to more poems from my youth in the weeks to come. Now that I've opened my memory box, I won't be able to stop revisiting all my old favorites.