My Shadow Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

My Shadow

Rating: 3.5


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 OF THE POEM
Nicki Faith 22 December 2009

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

27 11 Reply
Barbara Pangaro 03 October 2004

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

26 7 Reply
Prachi Pathak 20 September 2013

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

21 5 Reply
* Sunprincess * 04 June 2014

.........oh this is the most wonderful poem ever.....loved reading every line....

15 10 Reply
Kim Barney 13 September 2015

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.

20 3 Reply
AfedDe 08 October 2019

the last stanza is simple. The child is up before the sun, thus there can be no shadow to follow him outside, and so " it stays in bed"

1 0 Reply
Troyy 05 June 2019

I am trying to learn about the archetypes, the shadow is one of which. Stevenson talks his very candidly.

1 0 Reply

I love this poem very much. My Siamese kitten' name is, of course, SHADOW! !

1 0 Reply
kanona 16 January 2019

Cool! ! ! Hi my name is Kana

2 1 Reply
Teagan 28 October 2018

Me and my nana love this poem so much. I'm like her little shadow . It's a great poem. For all ages. I love it.

1 1 Reply
Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson

Edinburgh / Scotland
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