Thursday, 3 July 2014

A poem for the Fourth of July

My poem for the Fourth of July is by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894). He was Scottish of course, but his wife was American, Fanny Osbourne. By all accounts their marriage was an exceedingly happy one. She already had three children from her first marriage and was ten years older than him. It was while helping one of his stepchildren drawing a map of a desert island that Stevenson got the inspiration to write 'Treasure Island' in 1883, the book that made him famous.
This poem is about accepting and loving things as they are and seems appropriate for what is such a wonderful holiday weekend for Americans.

I know not how it is with you
I love the first and last
The whole field of the present view
The whole flow of the past.

One tittle of the things that are,
Nor you should change or I,
One pebble in our path - one star
In all our heaven of sky.

The American television series 'Friends' accompanied my children while they were growing up. it could always be relied on to have them laughing and we all felt that they were our friends. In one episode Rachel describes her July the Fourth memory as being the happiest moment in her childhood. The whole family under a blanket watching the fireworks from their boat. It did sound lovely.
So happy Fourth of July everyone.
A photo from an American cookery book, celebrating the Fourth of July

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