Saturday, January 5, 2019

Disobedience by A.A. Milne

Disobedience
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."

James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."
Disobedience

King John 
Put up a notice,
"LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED!
JAMES JAMES MORRISON'S MOTHER
SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MISLAID.
LAST SEEN
WANDERING VAGUELY:
QUITE OF HER OWN ACCORD,
SHE TRIED TO GET DOWN
TO THE END OF THE TOWN-
40 SHILLINGS REWARD!"

James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his 
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."



Disobedience

James James 
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
"If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"

(Now then, very softly)
James James
Morrison Morrison
Took great
Care of his Mother
When he was only three

"Mother ," he said, said he,

"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."


A.A. Milne

I sincerely hope the art can be seen. Let me know if it doesn't. How silly, of course I will see that. Ignore that.



41 comments:

  1. We grew up with this. And I suspect that my brothers can, like me, still recite great slabs of it.

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    1. My son-in-law Richard recited this to his son Benjamin frequently. I loved it. He was British and this must have been part of his learning.

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  2. This can be seen as cute and funny, or terribly sad and tragic, depending on one's point of view. Nothing is truly ever superficial or straightforward with AA Milne. Not even Winnie the Pooh.

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    1. I agree. AA Milne had more depth to his writing than the casual pass through would reveal.

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    1. It is odd, which why it keeps popping up in my brain. He wasn't just Winnie the Pooh, but other levels.

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  4. I did not know A.A. Milne until I grew up. Even Winnie was not in our childhood library.

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    1. I was in HS and discovered AA Milne and TS Eliot. Such treasures for sure!

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  5. I'd never seen this, Susan. In fact, it finally took me reciting (it) aloud to come on board. What a twist on the 'norm' of parents cautioning their little ones.

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  6. Every time i reread Milne, whether the children’s books and poems or his other works, i find something i didn’t notice before. He was brilliant.

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    1. A unique man and father, AA Milne lived a quiet life, doing the thing he liked most: writing.

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  7. Shucks I love it. I entertained kids for many years professionally. I wish I had read or heard this. Interesting and CATCHING!
    It is refreshing to read something not understood straight on, but somehow touches a nerve.
    Love it.
    Thanks.

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  8. I've heard that poem before, many years ago and didn't like it then, although I didn't know why. So today I read it all the way through and still don't like it, and still don't know why.

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    1. It is one of those poems that leaves people wondering no matter how old they are.

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  9. I can see the art.
    Makes you wonder what happened to her...

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    1. With child switching places and identity with his mother changes one's perspective.

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  10. The art is there. A bit of a weird one indeed, keeps you wondering at the end.

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  11. So cute. And indeed, that is what happens when you go down to the edge of the town. Things just....disappear.

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  12. First I've heard of this one. Catchy but also very sad. Maybe an object lesson for children to not question and just obey.

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    1. This poem sets that clear message: a 3 yr. old in charge of her care? And why didn't she obey?

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  13. A little strange, for some reason I've never been sure whether I like it or not!

    All the best Jan

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    1. It is an odd poem, esp. when we think about Winnie the Pooh. I like it, because it is different. It took an idea of children being obedient and flipped it over to the parents.

      I can still hear my son-in-law Richard reciting it to Benjamin. The cadence with his voice was hypnotic.

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  14. Replies
    1. AA Milne was not just 100 Acre Wood, he was a writer of diversity.

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  15. I wasn't sure what this was all about but after reading it many times, it made it clear to me. After so time, I then enjoyed what the poem was saying. I must be getting old. See ya Susan

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. We are all getting old. But I find that my young years were focused on being responsible. Now with my gr-kids I get to live out youth and humor.

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  16. Love this. When I was about 3 or maybe 4 I lived with my parents in a small Minnesota town called Willmar. A major highway cut the town in two rather puny sections. Our house faced this highway, which today, as then, is a nice two-lane road leading to another small Minnesota town and the farms in between.

    One day I decided I must go to the end of town where the stockyards were as I had never seen what happened to the cows that showed up in big bunches (herds, I heard they were called) every so often.

    My parents were good parents and had warned me a number of times not to go down to the end of town without at least one of them. But I thought they were exaggerating.

    So, off I went, on my little trike, down the middle of the highway to the end of town. It seemed like it took forever, but later I found out it was only about a mile or so. I saw the cows, pawing and mooing and choking up dust as some were cut from the herd and others sent out to pasture; The process took a long time.

    Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, my parents were in panic mode. Somewhere along the way, as the afternoon sun waned, they realized I was missing. A full-on hunt was quickly underway. And before long the police were involved. I'm sure now that my very religious parents said many prayers and thought some evil thoughts during the time of searching.

    Now, I knew none of this. So when the cop ran up to where I was sitting on the fence thoroughly enjoying myself and grabbed me, yelling, "Here he is! I found him!" And then other folks showed up to hug and kiss me saying, "O, thank God, you're OK, praise the Lord, what's wrong with you, you're folks were so worried that something terrible had happened to you, and more stuff like that.

    On the way home, in the police car, I was handed an ice cream cone. I figured my dad had done that as he loved ice cream just about as much as he loved preaching about the Bible. I liked ice cream much better than preaching. I think that's still true of most people.

    And I never did understand all the fuss. I wasn't lost as some claimed. I knew where I was the whole time!

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    1. You have me chuckling, you ornery fella. A tricycle can take all on adventures, even it is to cows or to ice cream. Good!

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  17. Love it! I read that to my children along with the Pooh stories - such a wise bear was he!

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    1. Pooh has a simple wisdom that all can identify with and appreciate.

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  18. I've never heard this before. I like it though.

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    1. It makes me wonder what else AA Milne wrote.

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  19. Hi Susan - I must have come across this ... because Milne was a favourite ... and it's a great read - so delighted you've brought it to our attention - I'll remember now: Disobedience! Have a very good New Year - cheers Hilary

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!