Monday, February 11, 2008


The Book: A. A. Milne, THE WORLD OF CHRISTOPHER ROBIN: The Complete When We Were Very Young & Now We Are Six. With New Illustrations in full Color by E. H. Shepard. Dutton trade paperback reprint, 1958. Very good condition.
First read: 1971 (approximately)
Owned since: 1987 (this copy)

This was part of a two-volume set I got from the Quality Paperback Book Club; the other book was The World of Pooh, an omnibus of Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, and I gave it to a friend's child or one of my godchildren a long time ago.

Today's post is penance for my crankiness about The Tao of Pooh, because I do love Pooh, and all the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood. In fact -- I think I've mentioned this before -- I think you can classify just about everyone as a character from Winnie the Pooh. I am Rabbit, bossy and judgmental but basically kind, with many friends and relations. Dizzy is Christopher Robin, adventurous and a little anxious. A friend of mine up here has a license plate that says "Eeyore," so I must assume that he identifies himself as Eeyore.

The World of Christopher Robin is a collection of Milne's poems, several of which I know by heart. My two favorites are "King John's Christmas" and "Disobedience," which most people don't know by its true name:

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."

Of course his mother does go to the end of the town, and disappears forever, and it's all her fault for not listening to James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree. It's quite a sinister poem, if you read the whole thing. I'm sure reading it as a child scarred me for life.

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