A favorite childhood poem: What is yours?


Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern American Poetry.  1919.
Eugene Field. 1850–1895
5. Little Boy Blue
 I’ve always liked this poem. Thought I’d share it.  I thought it was about growing up, but now I realize it’s about something else. But I still like it anyway. It was in a book of poems we used to have in my house growing up. Do you have a favorite poem? Maybe I was a more melancholy child than average. Maybe not, since it’s very famous.

English: American writer, poet, literary criti...

English: American writer, poet, literary critic, and editor Louis Untermeyer (1885-1977) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

THE little toy dog is covered with dust,
    But sturdy and staunch he stands;
The little toy soldier is red with rust,
    And his musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
    And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
    Kissed them and put them there.
“Now don’t you go till I come,” he said,
    “And don’t you make any noise!”
So, toddling off to his trundle bed,
    He dreamt of the pretty toys;
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song
    Awakened our Little Boy Blue—
Oh! the years are many, the years are long,
    But the little toy friends are true!
Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
    Each in the same old place,
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
    The smile of a little face;
And they wonder, as waiting the long years through
    In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
    Since he kissed them and put them there.
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10 thoughts on “A favorite childhood poem: What is yours?

  1. Boy that sure captures the moment.i have walked the aisles of some new and used stores and you swear you can hear voices telling their tales sometimes. (Yes I have a vivid imagination!) Thanks for sharing.

  2. By Mark Van Doren, from the book That Shining Place, the poem from which the title comes. This particular poem has been one of my favorites for more than 45 years, and this special little out-of-print volume is full of loveliness, one piece after another. I read it over and over!

    Slowly, slowly wisdom gathers:
    Golden dust in the afternoon,
    Somewhere between the sun and me,
    Sometimes so near that I can see,
    Yet never settling, late or soon.

    Would that it did, and a rug of gold
    Spread west of me a mile or more:
    Not large, but so that I might lie
    Face up, between the earth and sky,
    And know what none has known before.

    Then would I tell as best I could
    The secrets of that shining place;
    The web of the world, how thick, how thin,
    How firm, with all things folded in;
    How ancient, and how full of grace.

  3. My favorite poem has always been “Stopping by the Woods” by Robert Frost. Not very original, but true nonetheless. Yours is very sad, isn’t it? Especially to a mother who is about to send her baby off to college. It is very beautiful, though, and speaks right to my heart.

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