Poetry Friday: The Railway Children
June 30, 2006
The mother in Edith Nesbit's The Railway Children is a writer, supporting the family with her writing when times are difficult. When she has more time, however, Mother writes special poems for the children. Here is one (from Chapter 14), written for family friend Jim about a dreadful new student at Jim's school:
"The New Boy
His name is Parr: he says that he
Is given bread and milk for tea.
He says his father killed a bear.
He says his mother cuts his hair.
He wears goloshes when it's wet.
I've heard his people call him "Pet"!
He has no proper sense of shame;
He told the chaps his Christian name.
He cannot wicket-keep at all,
He's frightened of a cricket ball.
He reads, indoors, for hours and hours.
He knows the names of beastly flowers.
He says his French just like Mossoo --
A beastly stuck-up thinkg to do --
He won't keep cave, shirks his turn
And says he came to school to learn!
He won't play football, says it hurt;
He wouldn't fight with Paley Terts;
He couldn't whistle if he tried,
And when we laughed at him he cried!
Now, Wigby Minor says that Parr
Is only like all new boys are.
I know when I first came to school
I wasn't such a jolly fool!"
Which just goes to show that life was pretty rough for English schoolboys 100 years ago. I reviewed The Railway Children here.
No links today, because I'm traveling, and set this up ahead of time. Try Kelly at Big A little a, or Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy for poems and links. And have a great Fourth of July weekend!