Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Poetry Month

It's April. That means it's Poetry Month. I'm back to my random "hey cool" selection style.


by A.A. Milne

Binker--what I call him--is a secret of my own,
And Binker is the reason why I never feel alone.
Playing in the nursery, sitting on the stair,
Whatever I am busy at, Binker will be there.
Oh, Daddy is clever, he's a clever sort of man,
And Mummy is the best since the world began,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan--
But they can't
Binker's always talking, 'cos I'm teaching him to speak:
He sometimes likes to do it in a funny sort of squeak,
And he sometimes likes to do it in a hoodling sort of roar . . .
And I have to do it for him 'cos his throat is rather sore.
Oh, Daddy is clever, he's a clever sort of man,
And Mummy knows all that anybody can,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan--
But they don't
Binker's brave as lions when we're running in the park;
Binker's brave as tigers when we're lying in the dark;
Binker's brave as elephants. He never, never cries . . .
Except (like other people) when the soap gets in his eyes.
Oh, Daddy is Daddy, he's a Daddy sort of man,
And Mummy is as Mummy as anybody can,
And Nanny is Nanny,and I call her Nan...
But they're not
Binker isn't greedy, but he does like things to eat,
So I have to say to people when they're giving me a sweet,
"Oh, Binker wants a chocolate, so could you give me two?"
And then I eat it for him, 'cos his teeth are rather new.
Well, I'm very fond of Daddy, but he hasn't time to play,
And I'm very fond of Mummy, but she sometimes goes away,
And I'm often cross with Nanny when she wants to brush my hair . . .

But Binker's always Binker, and is certain to be there.

In my oldest copy of the book Now We Are Six--a gift when I turned 6, of course--my sister Jean annotated several of the poems. This is one of them. She asked loads of good questions about people in our family, including my own version of "Binker" named B.B. I can't read this without thinking about my Nan, or rather my Nans (I always got them confused).

Of course, at age 6, I did think my Daddy was a "clever sort of man" and my Mommy was as Mommy "as anybody can." The rhythms in this poem have stayed with me, and I actually still occasionally quote it without thinking. No wonder people think I'm weird!

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