Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

My Shadow - Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

From Child's Garden of Verses

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.


Comments about My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson

  • .., Rahman .., Henry (9/13/2015 10:32:00 PM)


    ''...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. ''

    Very nice poem.
    (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • (9/13/2015 10:21:00 AM)


    This poem was written for children, but an old man like me can still enjoy it. This has long been one of my favorite poems.
    Some people try to read too much into it. One person below said 'The final end is sorrow' and another said it had a sad ending 'where the poet hints for his death'.
    NO SUCH THING!
    The end of the poem is Stevenson's attempt at humor, and he succeeds wonderfully. In fact, the entire poem is humorous. Read it again and see for yourself.
    (Report) Reply

    Afrooz Jafarinoor Afrooz Jafarinoor (9/13/2015 1:26:00 PM)

    You're right! It's truly humorous!

  • Pamela Sinicrope (9/13/2015 9:38:00 AM)


    I had a beautiful copy of the book this poem was published in as a child. I read it over and over and over again. Love this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (9/13/2015 8:21:00 AM)


    In and out with me! With the muse of life. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Seema Jayaraman (9/13/2015 4:53:00 AM)


    We all hv that mystifying disobedient child in us... (Report) Reply

  • Seema Jayaraman (9/13/2015 4:52:00 AM)


    Luvd it..we all hv that mystifying disobedient child in us (Report) Reply

  • Bhagyashree Naik (9/13/2015 4:09:00 AM)


    Too Gooooood, creative absolute imagination......enjoyed! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (9/13/2015 4:04:00 AM)


    One of the most enjoyable poems I have ever read. Children and grown ups would rejoice at the lifelike role enacted by a shadow. Amazing poem. (Report) Reply

  • Kinyua Karanja (9/13/2015 2:40:00 AM)


    What a creative mind and observation, i can remember days we used to play with our shadows like it was yesterday. Nice poem (Report) Reply

  • (9/13/2015 12:45:00 AM)


    This is a very interesting poem and the final end is sorrow. Likes so much (Report) Reply

  • .., Rahman .., Henry (9/13/2015 12:16:00 AM)


    Wonderful poem with a sad ending, where the poet hints for his death! (Report) Reply

  • (6/4/2014 7:46:00 AM)


    .........oh this is the most wonderful poem ever.....loved reading every line.... (Report) Reply

  • (6/3/2014 9:10:00 PM)


    I also learned and memorized this wonderful poem as a small child and can remember my parents being so proud that I was made to recite it to extended family one Thanksgiving. Thanks, to Sunprincess for helping to bring this old favorite to this old mind of mine! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • (9/20/2013 12:27:00 AM)


    It was my favourite poem as a child.Thanks for adding it here.. I had forgotten the 3rd verse completely and very happy to find it here (Report) Reply

  • (12/22/2009 4:54:00 PM)


    this poem was so much fun to read i used it for one of my english reports (Report) Reply

  • (10/3/2004 6:59:00 AM)


    I am in my fifties now, but as a small child and very sick for 2 months, I was given a poem book to read to help pass the time. This was one of the poems that I memorized from Robert Lewis Stevenson's writtings. It has been one of my favorites to resite over the years to my grandchildren.
    Over the years to poem book waas lost, but i realized that i could now find them on the internet. Who ever put this information together, Thank you
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: sometimes, children, rose, child, home, sun



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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