Poem 9: Forgiven
Today's poem is inspired by an evening spent birthdaying with my brother and my parents in the ole familial home. Since my brother's birthday was on Friday and my sister's is on Monday I had hoped to find some nice poem about the wonder that is the sibling relationship in honour of the occasion. Unfortunately, the ones I could find were either too sentimental or not sentimental enough. So instead I have chosen a poem which reminds me of being a child, which is when I spent the most time with my siblings, and when we knew each other better than anyone else did.
My family is very fond of nonsense, and especially Winnie the Pooh's brand of nonsense. Whenever we get together we will undoubtedly quote from it accidentally as it is part of our shared history. So my poem this evening is a favourite that my mum used to recite from A A Milnes's "Now we are six". I'm sorry that you cannot hear my mum's particular recitation of it (as this is of course the best), but I hope you can see why we love it all the same.
by A.A. Milne
I found a little beetle; so that Beetle was his name,
And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
I put him in a match-box, and I kept him all the day ...
And Nanny let my beetle out -
Yes, Nanny let my beetle out -
She went and let my beetle out -
And Beetle ran away.
She said she didn't mean it, and I never said she did,
She said she wanted matches and she just took off the lid,
She said that she was sorry, but it's difficult to catch
An excited sort of beetle you've mistaken for a match.
She said that she was sorry, and I really mustn't mind,
As there's lots and lots of beetles which she's certain we could find,
If we looked about the garden for the holes where beetles hid -
And we'd get another match-box and write BEETLE on the lid.
We went to all the places which a beetle might be near,
And we made the sort of noises which a beetle likes to hear,
And I saw a kind of something, and I gave a sort of shout:
"A beetle-house and Alexander Beetle coming out!"
It was Alexander Beetle I'm as certain as can be,
And he had a sort of look as if he thought it must be Me,
And he had a sort of look as if he thought he ought to say:
"I'm very very sorry that I tried to run away."
And Nanny's very sorry too for you-know-what-she-did,
And she's writing ALEXANDER very blackly on the lid,
So Nan and Me are friends, because it's difficult to catch
An excited Alexander you've mistaken for a match.