Sunday, 27 March 2016

Me and My Shadow

Children the world over are familiar with the story of Peter Pan. At the beginning of the story Peter pan is looking for his shadow and asks Wendy to sew it back on. Well children also know that they can't lose their shadow, it follows them everywhere, sometimes it is in front, then at the side and then behind, depending on the time of day and the position of the sun.

The fascination that small children have with their shadows is the subject of this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)

My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see,
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me when I jump into my bed.

the funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow -
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow, -
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an indiarubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way;
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see,
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy head,
Has stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

In 'Room with a view' by E.M.Forster he says
'We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand...... choose a place ... and stand in it for all your are worth, facing the sunshine.'

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