Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Some One" by Walter de la Mare

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:

Some One 
Walter de la Mare

Some one came knocking
At my wee, small door;
Someone came knocking; 
 I'm sure-sure-sure; 
 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.


  1. Love the poem, the stump and the post! :)

  2. That is a really neat poem. Memorizing poetry seems to be the best way to really appreciate it.

    I love the illustration that you posted.

  3. You have a treasure trove of books there, beautiful.

  4. I loved those Childcraft books. They provided an elegant introduction to literature.

  5. Thank you for posting this! I shared with my granddaughter that there was a poem with a picture in our child craft that was so magical to me. I looked and your picture came up! I wanted that little elf to open the door wider so I could see inside. The poem on the adjacent page showed another awesome picture of an elves little kitchen I think.

    1. I just added the image of the other poem you mentioned with the elf looking in his cupboard on the opposite page to Some One Came Knocking. I remember that poem well myself - actually more the picture than the poem. The whole elf section of Childcraft book 1 is magical for me. My other favorite poem was The Fairies...up the airy mountain, down the rushy glen, we daren't go a hunting for fear of little men...

      I found a second copy this book on Ebay once, so if you really want a copy to share with your granddaughter, you might find one there.

    2. AnonymousJune 05, 2023

      Anonymous from March 2023 sounds just like me! My mom was an excellent reader & excelled with voices & inflection. Someone is also my favorite poem from these Childcraft treasures! I devoured the fairie section as well!

  6. Amazing! Please share more! :-) Just what I was looking for my little one.

  7. I so love this poem too. My mom was a great story teller & read thr poems from our Childcraft books with so much enthusiasm! Someone is by far my favorite. I’ve been trying to find the nsme of this illustrator. So magical!🍄

    1. I'm so happy to have found a kindred spirit who appreciates this poem as much as I do.