366 days of gratitude

January 18, 2016

You might have deduced from this morning’s quotes that I’m a fan of A.A. Milne.

A well-worn copy of When We Were Very Young is evidence that his poetry was part of my childhood but I was at university before I read, and appreciated, Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner.

When I first went to England, one of my literary pilgrimages was to Ashdown Forest, near Hartfield in East Sussex, part of which is the 100 Acre (or Aker) wood in which Pooh and his friends played.

I’ve been back there two more times to play Pooh Sticks on the bridge which E.H Shephard drew and have read and re-read the books to my own and others’ children.

Today I’m grateful for A.A. Milne and other authors who give pleasure to readers and read-to of all ages.

 


The King’s Breakfast

May 22, 2009

Over at In a Strange Land, Deborah is asking people for their party piece poems – those they can recite by heart.

That’s prompted this choice for Friday’s poem, A.A. Milne’s The King’s Breakfast.

There was a time I could recite it, word perfect but when I tried to type it out I had some gaps in the middle and had to peek at When We Were Very Young,  the collection of poems from which it comes to refresh my memory.

The King’s Breakfast

The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid:
“Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?”
The Queen asked the Dairymaid,
The Dairymaid
Said, “Certainly,
I’ll go and tell the cow
Now
Before she goes to bed.”

The Dairymaid
She curtsied,
And went and told
The Alderney:
“Don’t forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread.”
The Alderney
Said sleepily:
“You’d better tell
His Majesty
That many people nowadays
Like marmalade
Instead.”

The Dairymaid
Said, “Fancy!”
And went to
Her Majesty.
She curtsied to the Queen, and
She turned a little red:
“Excuse me,
Your Majesty,
For taking of
The liberty,
But marmalade is tasty, if
It’s very
Thickly
Spread.”

The Queen said
“Oh!:
And went to
His Majesty:
“Talking of the butter for
The royal slice of bread,
Many people
Think that
Marmalade
Is nicer.
Would you like to try a little
Marmalade
Instead?”

The King said,
“Bother!”
And then he said,
“Oh, deary me!”
The King sobbed, “Oh, deary me!”
And went back to bed.
“Nobody,”
He whimpered,
“Could call me
A fussy man;
I only want
A little bit
Of butter for
My bread!”

The Queen said,
“There, there!”
And went to
The Dairymaid.
The Dairymaid
Said, “There, there!”
And went to the shed.
The cow said,
“There, there!
I didn’t really
Mean it;
Here’s milk for his porringer,
And butter for his bread.”

The Queen took
The butter
And brought it to
His Majesty;
The King said,
“Butter, eh?”
And bounced out of bed.
“Nobody,” he said,
As he kissed her
Tenderly,
“Nobody,” he said,
As he slid down the banisters,
“Nobody,
My darling,
Could call me
A fussy man –
BUT
I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!”

        –  A. A. Milne –


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