February 4, 2014

"I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me"


During the daytime, a shadow cast by an opaque object illuminated by sunlight has a bluish tinge. This happens because of Rayleigh scattering, the same property that causes the sky to appear blue. The opaque object is able to block the light of the sun, but not the ambient light of the sky which is blue as the atmosphere molecules scatter blue light more effectively. As a result, the shadow appears bluish.

Watching kids discovering their own shadow is surprisingly fun

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow-
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward, you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 4, 2014 5:29 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I learned that poem to enter a local talent show at the age of 5. Didn't win the prize, but was praised for being a precocious little bugger.
Memories, I've got a few.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at February 4, 2014 7:22 PM

A Child's Garden of Verses - I read that many times, and had my own 'Land of Counterpane'.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at February 4, 2014 7:42 PM