Mama’s Counterpane and Me

I started reading when I was very young . I was 3 or 4 years old. I credit my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents for this. They were all voracious readers. They were all huge fans of libraries, as they didn’t have the money to buy many books

Since I was the first born on both sides of the family, someone was almost always reading aloud to me. My mother loved stories and poetry. Longfellow and Stevenson were two of her favorites.

One of her favorite poems was “The Land of Counterpane by Robert Louis Stevenson. You see, when she was a young girl (elementary school age) she was quite ill and was convalescing at home for almost a year. Thus, this poem had special meaning to her. Her mom recited or read it to her many times that year. As a result, it is one of my many favorites, too. Do you have any favorite poems? Here are the first and last stanzas of the poem.

The Land of Counterpane.

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.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane

The very first book I ever received as a gift was “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I still have it and thoroughly enjoy reading the long ago words of a marvelous wordsmith. When I re-read it I am transported. Sometimes I can literally hear mom’s voice and see her smiling.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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7 Responses to Mama’s Counterpane and Me

  1. Oh my goodness, I too had that same Robert Louis Stevenson book – A Child’s Garden of Verses. I don’t have it now though and honestly, don’t know what happened to it. Thank you for this lovely reminder of childhood.

  2. sarsm says:

    I don’t know this book. Thank you for sharing it.
    My parents were unfortunately not readers at all. But I still grew up with a love for books. I guess I also have the library to thank for that.
    There are so many great poems, but one that always stayed with me is In the snack bar, by Edwin Morgan.

  3. Katharine says:

    My first poem I ever liked was in a set of children’s literary works.
    It was far above my vocab level at the time, and one of the words in it now has another rather distracting meaning, but really this poem is totally on the mark for today, so I think I’ll post in at fb, in just a minute. 😀
    It was written by a guy who died even before I was born, but wow, does it make a tongue-in-cheek statement about today. You must look it up!
    It is “Strictly Germ-proof” by Arthur Guiterman. And yes, I really did try to memorize it when I was about 8 or so. 😀

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