Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, April 2, 2009

When I was Very Young....

I love old, children's books. They hold more than stories and poems. They are the keepers of memories and all the ghosts that held them. They are the long ago keepsakes of childhood..., when you were tucked into bed, with your favorite doll or stuffed animal and someone started to read from them about a magic world, so different and wonderful that you found yourself wishing you were there. The characters were alive and you thought you knew them personally..., that they were peeking at you from inside your toy chest, hiding in the closet or waiting under the bed to dance around you after you went to sleep.
I had a huge imagination when I was very young. I was an only child for seven years and my imaginary world had no limits. I made up stories and placed myself into every book that was read to me. As I got older and started reading on my own, these books became companions that were always there and that I could count on.They were some of my best friends.
This little book was one I remember well. When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne was one of my favorites and probably the reason that I love poetry so much now. This book is not with my childhood books. Maybe it got lost or worn out..., or maybe it was a library book that my mother returned. I don't know. But I found it at a used book store, recently, and it is so familiar to me that I know it was a part of my life long ago.
The book was first printed in 1924 but this reprint was in Aug of 1950. I would have been 6 yrs. old. I love this book. It's red cloth cover is decorated with illustrations by E.H. Shepard. They were called "decorations".
Alan Alexander Milne (1882-1956) was a noted English playwright who decided to write a book about a boy and his bear. Christopher Robin (his son's name) and Winnie the Pooh (one of his son's stuffed animals) became so successful that his other work paled in comparison. He was annoyed that the children's books were the only really successful books that he was able to write, but he continued writing these stories because they made a lot of money.
After he died his widow sold the rights ,to the Pooh character, to the Walt Disney Company. Royalties from this sale, and part ownership of the copyright, were used to fund a fellowship program for writers in United Kingdom universities.
There is a poem in this book that is called Puppy and I~ it's one of my favorites. I will leave you with the last stanza....

...I met a Puppy as I went walking;
We got talking,
Puppy and I.
"Where are you going this nice fine day?"
(I said to the Puppy as he went by)."
"Up in the hills to roll and play."
"I'll come with you, Puppy," said I.


Please drop by Colorado Lady's blog for more Vintage Things and related sites.
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  1. What a beatuiful post. Our childhood memories are always so sweet to remember.

  2. What a beautiful book filled with beautiful memories! Thanks for sharing! I love the poem! You should post the whole thing sometime :)


  3. I love old childrens books as well. I found a very old kindergarten curriculum book that is just wonderful to look through. I'm not familiar with the book you featured... I'll have to check it out.

  4. What a great post. I am always delighted by the way you bring to light your memories. The photos are great. Have a good evening.

  5. Oh boy, A.A.Milne the memories that revives, I didn't know that it was also popular in the USA. I have my books on the shelf I have saved them for my grandchildren's visits.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  6. What a great post for VTT. I am so glad you shared with us some great childhood memories, that is a great book. Have a great weekend.

  7. Great post. Great book. thanks for sharing your treasure and your memories.

  8. What a beautiful post!
    Memories and imagination are wonderous things, aren't they.

  9. Wow, they had books when you were a kid?!?!?!? I thought maybe you had to read the carvings on the cave walls. Makes it a little hard to read in bed! Love the cover. Thanks for your favorite line from the Puppy Poem.

    (I used to think if I snapped my head around quickly enough, I would be able to catch the dolls moving in my dollhouse)

  10. beautiful post.. childhood memories always precious memories to be remembered and shared.. Pooh bear, one of the bears that I like apart from Paddington Bear in Yellow boots.. have a great day!

  11. OMG I almost forgot to pack grits... MUST take grits cause AUNT has never had any.... GRITS are on the pack list THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

  12. I loved that book too! Like you, I enjoy the old childrens' books. Thank you for sharing. :)

  13. I loved to read when I was a child. Of course having 4 older sibs, mom and dad that all enjoyed reading and reading to the littler ones didn't hurt. We all read so much to my baby brother (also the last of us 6 kids) that he could read before he went to kindergarten and the school administrators jumped him after kindergarten to 2nd grade. All six of us kids loved reading and learning, and the 5 of us still living still enjoy reading and learning.


  14. i was transported back to the age of 8 while reading your post...what fun!...i too had a vivid imagination and adore all the books from my childhood..thank you for the memories :)


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