Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sunday Scribblings-Bed

When I was sick and lay a-bed
I had two pillows at my head
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Land Of Counterpane
As a child, I was often sick - not with anything really serious, but I was prone to recurring bouts of bronchitis and asthma. My mother tended to be overprotective, and would put me to bed at the first sign of a sniffle. This was one of my favorite poems, because it helped me to imagine my bed as a place of adventure, rather than confinement. I too could "send my ships in fleets all up and down among the sheets," or "bring my trees and houses out and plant cities all about." I never resented the time I spent in bed, even if my friends were outside playing, when I was able to create adventures in my very own "pleasant Land of Counterpane."


Blogger GreenishLady said...

That's so lovely! I had a copy of his "Child's Garden of Verse" that my mother gave me when I was about 9 or 10, and then, of course it got lost. I was delighted to get a copy a few years ago, and my sister too recounts lines from favourites from time to time. It's great to think your times of illness were times of comfort for you, too.

Blogger bb said...

I've met a great deal of bibliophiles who had sickly childhoods, that allowed them to develop a wonderful, vital realtionship with books, myself included. Great post!

Blogger paris parfait said...

I love Robert Louis Stevenson's work and as a child, I too had the "Child's Garden of Verse," a gift from my grandma, a librarian. Sadly, it was lost during my travels. Lovely post about your childhood travels via books and imagination, even while in bed.

Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

That is one of the most evocative memories of childhood for me as well, the act of my mother tucking me in while I was ill and dreaming away. Thank you for making me think of this...

Blogger Jennifer said...

good twist on being sick in bed! Nurturing your creativity and imagination.

Blogger deirdre said...

Childhood imagination is wonderous. What a gift that yours was active and kept you busy until you were well again.

Blogger boliyou said...

Thank you for the poem. It's been so long, I'd completely forgotten it. I had it in a series of children's books passed down from my grandmother. Wonderful!

Blogger jzr said...

This is one of my favorite poems from childhood, too! Thanks for bringing the memory back!

Blogger Star said...

Thank you for sharing about your childhood experience and the lovely RLS poem. It sounds like you're one of those people that can always make something good out of a bad situation.

I'm afraid all I remember about being sick in bed as a child is ginger ale.

Thanks, Becca!

Blogger susanlavonne said...

Becca..what a charming poem and story...I enjoy learning about people through these vignette's :-)

(when my husband is out of town I still spread my "toys" out across his side of the bed...journal, colored pencils, etc.)

Blogger HoBess said...

That poem is delightful. I'm off to rediscover the rest of it. Thanks!


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