This morning while exercising I listened to an old CD that had been stored with materials I used when involved with the The Children's Museum (in Bloomsburg, PA). The recording included selections from A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) and as I listened to "My Shadow" I connected it with my blog -- a poem of geometry and mappings. Here it is; enjoy!
My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)
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 gets 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 beside 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.
Access to work by Stevenson, including all of the poems (many of which I enjoyed as a child) in A Child's Garden of Verses is available here at Bartleby.com, and here is a link illustrating the geometry of drawing shadows (a posting by Julianna Kunstler).