Saturday, March 11, 2017

Adapting Foreign Frames...

Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad in foreign lands.

I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.

I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky's blue looking-glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people tramping in to town.

If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships,

To where the road on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive.
- Robert Louis Stevenson, "Foreign Lands"


Jersey McJones said...

Hey, wow! Stevenson poetry! It's been YEARS!


FreeThinke said...


Envision me in silk chanting
With crepe de chine around me hung
Incorseti tight
And flowers bright
And jewels that sparkle in the light.
And then I'll take you by the hand
And lead you to a foreign land
Where dwelling the thinking faery sprites
And other wondrous delights
And in my little pea green boat
We'll cruise around the perfumed moat
Of Erlking's Kandy Kastle there
And I shall comb my bleached blond hair
And paint my cheeks a rosy hue
And then I'll thrust myself at you!

~ FT - The Annals of Pisterine

FreeThinke said...

How would you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child could do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and green trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside —

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown —
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

~ RLS (1913)

FreeThinke said...

Basic facts about RLS courtesy of WIKI:

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child's Garden of Verses.

Born: November 13, 1850, Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: December 3, 1894, Vailima, Samoa
Buried: December 4, 1894, Mount Vaea, Samoa
Spouse: Fanny Stevenson (m. 1880–1894)


He was a sickly person who didn't live very long. He was only 44 when he died, but despite his delicate health he travelled widely and lived vividly within the realm of his fertile imagination. In A Child's Garden of Verses from which the poem about the swing is excerpted Stevenson captures and holds the wonder and glory of innocence and naiveté in a happy childhood –– qualities of freshness and eagerness for adventure he appears never to have lost throughout his short, troubled life. Although, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde certainly indicates awareness of the darkness lurking behind the thin veneer of courtesy and decorous behavior most of us wear in order to keep Civilization alive.

I believe everyone is born with innate awareness of the potential for wickedness we harbor within ourselves. Fortunately, the vast majority strive to ignore or overcome it because we sense that in giving way tonic only madness and desperation await us.

The Siren Call to give way to our worst capacities, falsely issued in the name of Freedom, has produced the Great Unravelling we have experienced in the past century.

Bless RLS and the other worthy poets and minstrels for preserving charming bits of the childlike innocence and openhearted naiveté we appear to have lost.

Perhaps it could be regained by exerting an equal and opposite reaction to the Forces of Darkness that have been gaining strength and momentum since ling before most of us were born?

I think it's certainly worth a try.

FreeThinke said...

In this dreary era where everyone who is anyone seems avid and ever more salveringly eager to point accusatory fingers at figures from the past and present, and cry "RACISM!!!" I wonder why Gilbert & Sullivan haven't been dredged up and excoriated for the hideous hatchet job they did on traditional Japanese culture in The Mikado? By that same token why are these obviously "Self-Loathing" Japs permitted to exhibit themselves as they do in this video which makes a veritable travesty of their Japanese identity?

Thersites said...

I always admired RlS for his prose, never his poetry. I still prefer Blake.

Gert said...


Gert said...

Come and sort out my Karma, darlin'!

Gert said...

Do you know these, Farmer? Great tracka nd video!

-FJ said...

Future Island are a local Baltimore band. I'm familiar with a few of their collaborations.

Gert said...

I c...

-FJ said...

My Daughter-in-Law teaches in the Baltimore City Public School System. She was in Lock-down during the riots.