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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

V is for Vespers by A. A. Milne.

When We Were Very Young is a best-selling book of poetry by A. A. Milne. It was first published in 1924, and was illustrated by E. H. Shepard. The book begins with an introduction entitled "Just Before We Begin", which, in part, tells the reader to imagine for themselves who the narrator is, and that it might be Christopher Robin.

When I was very young, I was given the entire set of Pooh Books, the real thing not the Disney version. The books had the E. H. Shepard illustrations. Later when I taught infants I read the stories and poems so often that I know the entire books by heart. A wonderful treasure to have in my head. When borrowing books from the library at the age of eleven I came across plays written by A. A. Milne which I found were very funny. 


Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,

Droops on the little hands little gold head.
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

God bless Mummy. I know that's right.
Wasn't it fun in the bath to-night?
The cold's so cold, and the hot's so hot.
Oh! God bless Daddy - I quite forgot.

If I open my fingers a little bit more,
I can see Nanny's dressing-gown on the door.
It's a beautiful blue, but it hasn't a hood.
Oh! God bless Nanny and make her good.

Mine has a hood, and I lie in bed,
And pull the hood right over my head,
And I shut my eyes, and I curl up small,
And nobody knows that I'm there at all.

Oh! Thank you, God, for a lovely day.
And what was the other I had to say?
I said "Bless Daddy," so what can it be?
Oh! Now I remember it. God bless Me.

Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head.
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.
Alan Alexander Milne 1882-1956


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi carole .. it's a great poem isn't it .. few words from the bear with no brain .. but wise words and a book with lots of thoughts for us to consider .. AA Milne was very clever.

I love this - thanks .. cheers Hilary

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, Hilary, but his use of his son's life as material for his work caused Robin to eventually reject his father, didn't it. Nevertheless, constantly reading the poetry and stories gave me so much treasure.
I don't think people realise that Milne was an excellent comedy playwright, too.

M Pax said...

I loved that book when I was a kid ... heck, still do.

Carole Anne Carr said...

M Pax, so many of us do, we still retain our childhood.

Susan Kane said...

What a precious poem! I love the way the pray wanders around and around. Brilliant. Great choice.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Aw, cute! I love this post.

A to Z co-host

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks, Susan, I had this book of poems, and the one that followed it, read to me over and over again, and then went on to read it to many children.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks, Elizabeth, I'm so pleased.

Haddock said...

Like those illustrations on the book. So simple and cute.

Janet Smart said...

What a wonderful book. I love old children's books and I love Pooh Bear!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks for visiting, Jim Reeves... :0)

Carole Anne Carr said...

Me too, Janet, just love Pooh Bear.

Deniz Bevan said...

I love Milne! Reading his collection Sunny Side Up at the moment.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Good to hear you have discovered other things that he has written, Deniz.

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