My Shadow

by Robert Louis Stevenson

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 india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes 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 behind 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.

 

 


Toulouse Lautrec

Title:

My Shadow

Poet:

Stevenson, Robert Louis

Year of Publication:

1885

Age Appropriate:

8-9

Subject:

Curious things

Stanza:

4

Lines:

16

Rhyme:

aabb

Literary Period:

Victorian

Things to Discuss:

There is at least one example of onomatopoeia: did you recognize one? In this poem do you think this is the child's shadow? What else might it be? What other explanation is there for when the shadow disappears or moves in the opposite direction? What three things are necessary to make a shadow?