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Featured Poem: My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 25th August 2014

This week is a special one at The Reader Organisation, as it sees our very first Children's Literature Festival taking place. Running over three days (Thursday 28th-Saturday 30th August), The Secret Garden of Stories will feature lots of reading fun all in the secret garden of Calderstones Mansion House. As well as special storytelling sessions from Roald Dahl Museum and a performance of The Secret Garden by The Bookworm Players, there's going to be games, competitions, a poetry booth and our very Author's Den which will be visited by top authors Jon Mayhew, Lydia Monks, Cathy Cassidy and Andy Mulligan.

You can find out more information about The Secret Garden of Stories and book your tickets for entry into the Author's Den on our website:

With such a special event in mind, we couldn't do anything else but choose a poem that was written especially for children as our Featured Poem this week (although those of us who are a little bit older can enjoy it too). From his children's collection of poems A Child's Garden of Verses (1885), this poem is one of Robert Louis Stevenson's most enchanting - and is a particularly good one to read aloud, which makes it even better.

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 things 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 India rubber 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,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Robert Louis Stevenson



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