Poetry Friday -- Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes

I am off to the Lake District in England later today (see exciting poetry related contest at end of post!) Seeing as this is Beatrix Potter country, I decided to look at Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes (1922, Number 23 in our set of the complete works of BP, which I have never reached in my attempts to read her complete ouvre. I always get stuck at Little Pig Robinson).*

CP's Nursery Rhymes is a collection of 8 "mother goose-esque" poems. As is the case with the earlier Apply Dapply's Nursery Rhymes, the poems and pictures were collected/painted over many years, and seemingly arbitrarily selected for this book. Some of the poems are common (This little pig), some very obscure (the eponymous Cecily Parley, who "lived in a pen, and brewed good ale for gentlemen"). BP spread the poems out over several pages, so there are many more pictures than poems--we get four pictures of the pigs, for instance, and since BP's pictures are charming and pleasantly detailed, this is just fine. However, they are very small pictures, which need to be looked at closely, so I wouldn't choose this book for a soothing read aloud. Instead, I might choose it for an exploration of how magnifying glasses work.

All this being said, here was a poem that was new to me and very sweetly illustrated with, I think, guinea pigs:

We have a little garden,
A garden of our own,
And every day we water there
The seeds that we have sown.

We love our little garden,
And tend it with such care,
You will not find a faded leaf
Or blighted blossom there.

Typing this in, I realized how uninspired this poem is without the guinea pigs...sadly it was not possible to get a picture of them before I went to England.


Be the first to answer this question correctly and win a random ya paperback to be imported from England in the coming week!*

Why does the famous poem Casabianca (The boy stood on the burning deck...) make me, and many others, think of the Lake District?

I will be back week after next, and will announce the winner, if any, then...

*sorry, because of funding constraints this contest is open only to US residents...


  1. I am intrigued on two counts by your post today, Charlotte. My dad used to recite "The boy stood on the burning deck" so thanks for a memory nudge. Also Beatrix Potter and her story/stories have been a lifelong interest of mine. I first 'met' her when my wee daughter picked out her own library book because it was so small and had a cute picture on the front--the first in the Peter Cottontail series. Thanks!

  2. Oh, my goodness, you're in England! What fun!

    The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck is stumping me, which is too bad as I love British imports... will think upon it.

  3. Chicken SpaghettiMay 29, 2007 at 6:26 PM

    hi Charlotte. I tagged you for a meme; play along if you would like to.


  4. Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

  5. I have the answer! The poem Casabianca plays a crucial role in Arthur Ransome's Swallowdale, the second of his wonderful (do I need to say this? Does anyone not know these books?) series of holiday stories set in the Lake District.

  6. Yes! Emily is the winner and will be receiving an exciting book from England as a prize!


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