November 13th happens to be Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthday, so today I attempt, in my way, to write a poetic salute to Stevenson, and invite you to join in as well. Read on for how I plan to do so. Hint: today, it is more about his poems than any specific poetic form.
This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support. Please see the full disclosure for more information. I only recommend products I definitely would (or have already) use myself
Poetic Sundays: A Poetic Salute to Robert Louis Stevenson (R. L. S)
Robert Louis Stevenson is best known for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as his novels, Kidnapped and Treasure Island. Besides many other novels and stories, he has also written many poems, his most famous collection being A Child’s Garden of Verses. On the occasion of his birthday, my Poetic Sunday is a poetic salute to him.
The Poetic Salute to Stevenson: A Quick How To
The rules are simple! Pick a poem and follow its rhythm and rhyme! Here are a few things that might help you get started, and help you along the way.
- Choose any poem by Robert Louis Stevenson that appeals to you. My example(s) is from his ‘Child’s Garden of Verses’. You can read these poems online at Project Gutenberg.
- Say, like me, you pick a poem from the garden of verses. In that case, let us write the poem from the viewpoint of a child.
- Next, look at the rhyme scheme and meter (or at the least, the syllabic count) in the selected poem. Make a note of them, and if possible, the meter as well. Many of the poems seem to use iambic tetrameter (where tetrameter is used)
- Follow the rhyme scheme and syllabic count as you write the poem. As for the number of lines, it is up to you. This will depend on the R.L.S. poem you pick, you might see that some of his poems are short (just four lines) while others run longer (many stanzas of three to uneven lengths). If you can, have it similar to the poem to make it a proper salute to the poet. As for myself, I picked a shorter one today!
- You are done, and your poetic salute to Stevenson is ready!
My Step-by-Step Towards My Poetic Salute to Stevenson
Choosing the poem(s)
My two picks by Stevenson
At the Seaside
WHEN I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.
My holes were empty like a cup,
In every hole the sea came up,
Till it could come no more
THE rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.
Rhyme Scheme and Meter/Syllabic Count
At the Seaside is a poem made up of two tercets (three-line stanzas or can run together as one six-line poem). It has a rhyme scheme of aabccb and syllabic count of 8/8/6/8/8/6
Rain is a quatrain – a poem of 4 lines with rhyme scheme of xaxa and syllabic count of 8/6/8/6
My Attempts at a Poetic Salute to Stevenson
In Search of Treats
I climbed the mango tree today
With my sis Lei and friend Murray
We hoped to find the best –
I mean, the sweetest mangoes there.
But what we found was just thin air!
Squirrels – are indeed pests!
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites
The birds are singing joyful songs.
I hear them in the trees.
They wake me up in the morning,
And chirp goodnight to me
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites
On My Blog And the Homefront
This past week’s posts.. I realized I managed to post one everyday!
- Wonderful Ways to Warm Our Souls
- 11 Great Children’s Books for Veteran’s Day
- 13 Amazing Travel Books for Kids of All Ages
- The Wonderful 2022 National Book Awards Young People’s Literature Finalists
- 10+ Great Nonfiction Children’s Book Series to Read
- 5 Great Children’s Books for the Fall Children’s Book Week
- Sunday Scribblings #122: Of Laughs and Sighs and Other Wonderful (?) Things
As far as the home-front, just a regular week, though it was for raining in the real sense of the word, for the very first time this year…and then has gotten very cold for the bay area so we are trying to cope with the sudden drop in temperatures.
On My Blog and On the Homefront
Hoping to post something different this coming week, a couple of posts long in the planning but never made it to the front. And at home, not much different though looking forward to the following week.
Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)
- Literary birthdays this week include: Astrid Lindgren and Gary Provost on the 14th of November; Marianne Moore on 15th Nov; Chinua Achebe on Nov 16th; Christopher Paolini on the 17th of November; Maggie Stiefvater and Margaret Atwood on Nov 18th(!); Ruta Sepetys on Nov 19th; Alistair Cooke and Nadine Gordimer on the 20th
- John Riddle of Delaware started I Love to Write Day – to be celebrated annually on November 15
- World Philosophy Day is observed annually on the third Thursday of November, so this year, it is on the 17th.
- Future Teachers of America Day, celebrated annually on November 20, is made to celebrate just how great teachers are.
- November 14th is National Spicy Guacamole Day as well as National Pickle Day. So two lip-smacking ways to enjoy the date.
- The 15th of November brings change to our tastebuds with National Bundt (Pan) Day, National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day, and National Raisin Bran Cereal Day
- National Fast Food Day is on November 16th followed by some sweetness on
- The 17th, which celebrates National Baklava Day (yum, I can use some sugar). It is also National Homemade Bread Day
- November 18th is National Vichyssoise Day as well as Apple Cider Day
- The 19th of Nov apparently is National Carbonated Beverage With Caffeine Day, so kind of a double-whammy….
- End the week with something sweet as Nov 20th is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
Other Celebrations and Observations
- Children’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of November in India, in honor of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was fondly known as Chacha (uncle) Nehru.
- Nov 15th happens to be National Philanthropy Day as well as National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day and America Recycles Day. It is also National Ample Time Day. I definitely need to look where time keeps going! 😉
- The 16th of November observes International Day for Tolerance. Per the UNESCO Declaration for this day, “tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.”
- After eating fast food and baklava, it makes sense that Nov 17th is National Take A Hike Day. The 17th, or rather the third Thursday in November, is also Use Less Stuff Day. So let us all work together to make ourselves and our planet healthier by using less and hiking more!!
- Nov 18th is the birthday of maybe everyone’s favorite mouse (or not?!) – it is Mickey Mouse Birthday day…
- International Stand Up to Bullying Day is observed twice a year in February and November. In November, it is on the third Friday of the month
- National Play Monopoly Day is on the 19th of November, and we all enjoy playing it every so often so why not this week?
- Nov 20th happens to be National Absurdity Day
- The 20th is also World Children’s Day (and one of the earmarked National Child’s Day as well in the US!)
- Family Volunteer Day is celebrated annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving
Related Books and Reads
Suggestions related to various aspects of today’s blog
- Philosophy: How Do You Live? (reviewed here) and The Alchemist (never reviewed but talked about many times over)
- Adventure and A History Lesson In Stevenson’s Kidnapped
- THAO: A Picture Book
Wrapped Up: My Sunday Scribblings
So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. Will you be attempting to write a poetic salute to Stevenson? And, of course, do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month?
Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon.
13 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #123: A Poetic Salute to Stevenson”
“How do you like to go up in a swing, up in the air so blue?…” I can still hear my mother reading “The Swing” poem from the “A Child’s Garden of Verses” book by Robert Louis Stevenson. I inherited this classic 1929 edition from her and keep it in a special spot on my bookcase. It was Stevenson’s “The Swing” poem that inspired me to write my first book “High in the Sky” which I was able to publish and read to my mother just before she passed.
My school was named after Robert Louis Stevenson so I spent more time than many looking at his life and his work. He fascinates me, and I’d love to know more about him. He has a beautiful childlike quality of looking out on the world.
I plan to read his nonfiction book next year about his walk through the mountains in Europe with a donkey.
These are beautiful poems. I have read some of Robert Louis Stevenson’s works but need to read more.
My attention was caught reading and comprehending the poem At the Seaside. Quite interesting to read more poems and let one’s creativity work to interpret what the poem tries to deliver to its audience.
Out of the two you picked I really like “At the Seaside”, I also like “Birdsong”. However they are all quite lovely & enjoyable.
lovely poems! and the theme So takes me back. I loved treasure island when I was little, especially the odd cartoon with real water and some real-life actors featured.
I never read any of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poems- but Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde were books I read when I was 8- and I think again when I was 10. (These books came as part of a series of kids books that were delivered every month.)
Thanks for rekindling the memories.
I haven’t read anything by Robert Louis Stevenson, but I have always been a fan. It is fun to look back and revisit these works.
These are beautiful poems to read. “Birdsong” makes me think of peace.
That’s such a lovely poems. I have not read any Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem. I would love to read it.
Awww! Happy Birthday to Robert Louis Stevenson. I am a fan of his work and love Treasure Island. This is such a wonderful poetic salute to him. Thank you for sharing.
This brought back great memories of Robert Louis Stevenson poems and books! I also love your weekly Foodie edition!
I got to say, I’m not really good at keeping the rhythm haha. I tried with my brother because he loves poems. And it wasn’t good. I will need to follow the things you mentioned. I like the upcoming to make readers for what’s coming. Would love to read your next week post.