“Is this the way to Round-the-World?”

It is National Poetry Month! For me, poetry is an outlet for creativity, a moment for peace-of-mind, and subtle inspiration. When I was browsing through a local used book store called Old Firehouse Books, here in Fort Collins I found the cutest little book of poetry and loved it so much that I have yet to put it down. The pages are so incredibly dog-eared that it is borderline book abuse. I am a sucker for Winnie-the-Pooh, so when I found this book of poetry about Christopher Robin, by A. A. Milne, I was ecstatic. Below is my favorite poem from the book titled, The World of Christopher Robin (although it is hard to pick just ONE favorite!). This poem completely captures the innocence of childhood. It is about imagination, adventure, and best of all… traveling!! I hope you also enjoy these words.

Nursery Chairs

By: A. A. Milne

One of the chairs is South America,
One of the chairs is a ship at sea,
One is a cage for a great big lion,
And one is a chair for Me.

The First Chair.

When I go up the Amazon,
I stop at night and fire a gun
To call my faithful band.
And Indians in twos and threes,
Come silently between the trees,
And wait for me to land.
And if I do not want to play
With any Indians today
I simply wave my hand.
And then they turn and go away-
They always understand.

The Second Chair.

I’m a great big lion in my cage,
And I often frighten Nanny with a roar.
Then I hold her very tight, and
Tell her not to be so frightened-
And she doesn’t be so frightened any more.

The Third Chair.

When I am in my ship, I see
The other ships go sailing by.
A sailor leans and calls to me
As his ship goes sailing by.
Across the sea he leans to me,
Above the winds I hear him cry:
“Is this the way to Round-the-World?”
He calls as he goes by.

The Fourth Chair.

Whenever I sit in a high chair
For breakfast or dinner or tea,
I try to pretend that it’s my chair,
And that I am a baby of three.

Shall I go off to South America?
Shall I put out my ship to sea?
Or get in my cage and be lions and tigers?
Or— shall I only be Me?

Illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard

Illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard, 1958

The cover of the poetry book; The World of Christopher Robin
The cover of the poetry book; The World of Christopher Robin (Copyright 1924)

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