Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

A Child's Garden


R. L. Stevenson


Now there is nothing wrong with me
Except -- I think it's called T.B.
And that is why I have to lay
Out in the garden all the day.

Our garden is not very wide
And cars go by on either side,
And make an angry-hooty noise
That rather startles little boys.

But worst of all is when they take
Me out in cars that growl and shake,
With charabancs so dreadful-near
I have to shut my eyes for fear.

But when I'm on my back again,
I watch the Croydon aeroplane
That flies across to France, and sings
Like hitting thick piano-strings.

When I am strong enough to do
The things I'm truly wishful to,
I'll never use a car or train
But always have an aeroplane;

And just go zooming round and round,
And frighten Nursey with the sound,
And see the angel-side of clouds,
And spit on all those motor-crowds!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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# 174 poem on top 500 Poems


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  • Freshman - 1,537 Points John Richter (1/6/2015 11:35:00 AM)

    Exactly why Kipling was a master! What a wonderful poem, written in the mind of a child - who wishes to impishly scare nursey with the sound of his imaginary airplane - which he would probably never grow old enough to fly. I can not think of a more lovely, quaint, yet emotionally sad backdrop for a poem...... Absolutely wonderful. On the outskirts of the county I grew up in is a turn of the 20th century building - beautiful - though now abandoned. During the early part of the 20th century it served as our Tuberculosis hospital. TB was looked upon as contagious as Ebola might be today, and any child contracting the disease had a great likelihood of dying from it. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Bijay Poudel (1/6/2014 1:22:00 AM)

    Nice poem. But why mention rl stevenson in the beginning? (Report) Reply

    Silver Star - 7,929 Points Kim Barney (1/6/2015 8:28:00 PM)

    I think they goofed up and this is actually written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Does anyone have a book with this poem in and can verify that?

  • Rookie - 3 Points David Beckham (1/6/2013 12:12:00 AM)

    awesome! This is about everything really. Health, life and technology and how we use it to serve our needs. But the bigger impact is that it begs for Reflections on our choice of transportation and the harmful effect on man and nature. Nicely done (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Cs Vishwanathan (1/6/2011 5:25:00 AM)

    I am also asking the same questions as Kevin Straw. I think here Kipling has fallen off his perch. His words here are insipid. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (1/6/2010 7:28:00 AM)

    Does anyone know what the connection was beween Kipling, Croydon, TB and R L Stevenson? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 13 Points Joseph Poewhit (1/6/2010 5:03:00 AM)

    Even Kipling was caught by man's inner wish to fly. Though the poem is away from his love of India and his vast knowledge of the region and people. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 459 Points Ramesh T A (1/6/2010 1:32:00 AM)

    Childish pleasure is different from mature pleasure which is lasting forever strong or sick or young or old! A realisation of this truth comes after sometime in life! Nice poem! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 261 Points Marilyn Lott (1/6/2008 8:52:00 AM)

    What a wonderful poem. No doubt a peek into Mr. Kipling's childhood.
    Delicious write! (Report) Reply

Read all 17 comments »

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