The Best Gift

Published September 26, 2013 by Kathleen's Writings & Art


It was the best gift
I did received,
I was eight years old.
A beautiful illustrated book of poems
For children,
By Robert Louis Stevenson.
I read his poems over and over,
Pretending I was the children in his book,
And pretending I wrote the poems
As he did.
I still own this book,
I keep it in a safe place,
I still take it out,
Hold it,
And read the fragile pages
That expands my imagination.

7 comments on “The Best Gift

  • My sixth grade teacher would give out poems written or copied in her own handwriting. I remember feeling so special when I received one from her as a prize for getting 100 on my spelling test. It was a poem by Emily Dickinson: I memorized it and never forgot the teacher either. It is amazing to me how much both have influenced my writing. It goes like this:

    A word is dead
    When it is said,
    Some say.
    I say it just
    begins to live
    That day.


    • My grade 3 music teacher left me two strong memories. Due to a hellish home room teacher and adapting to a new school; the rest had no brightness. I transferred to French immersion after that. This is the young age when you don’t yet have a sharp sense of self, which is why recall of early ages contain fog. It’s like you’re drifting around taking life as it is, before you’re aware of preferences to choose and that you can make a mark too.

      “Mrs. Holoka”, a hefty single woman who hugged and tickled with glee in the 1980s, the world’s perfect teacher; brought out a guitar and taught us a classic from our very own city: “Four Strong Winds” (Neil Young). I tested out the melody and experienced for the first time in my life, the singing of notes. I was surprised by how nice they sounded and found that I could carry a tune.

      By the way, she terrified us with joy on our birthday by genuinely “giving the bumps”! You became centre of the circle and she kneed us in the butt 8 times for our age, with the “pinch to grow an inch” and plucking “a hair to grow fair”. I should look her up although not until November 18th passes. It happens as I think of her, that my birthday is neigh! πŸ™‚ Carolyn.


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