Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mystery Poet Revealed

I could just give you his name, but I won't.

He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on November 13, 1850. He was a sickly child who spent a good deal of time in bed and was taught by tutors. He wrote stories (dictating them) before he could read, which he didn't learn to do until he was 7 or 8 years old.

He was ill off and on most of his life.

He was suppose to follow in his father's footsteps and become an engineer, but he had no interest in it.

He fell in love with an American divorcee, and though it nearly cost him his life, he followed her all the way to California. He married his soul mate in May of 1880.

For the next 7 years they lived around Europe and he was ill a good deal of the time. Despite this these years produced his most famous and beloved works.

In 1887 he began the journey that would eventually land him on an island in the Samoas.

Surely you know who he is by now....

He died suddenly on December 3, 1894. He was only 44 years old.

On his headstone, is this beautiful verse, which of course, he penned.

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

Robert Louis Stevenson. The poems are from his collection called A Child's Garden of Verses.


  1. I grew up on his 'A Child's Garden of Verses'. It was the very first book I was ever given, and I have it still, with my name written in it, in pencil, all my Es and Ss backwards.

    I once lived opposite the apartment he stayed in when he lived in San Francisco, on Bush Street. In our local library in Scotland, his books were not on the shelves, though they had every single Goosebump and Sweet Valley Twin volume... I was not pleased!

  2. Not on the shelves in Scotland! That's a crime!

  3. Just to let you know that the R.L.S. line

    "Home is the sailor, home from the sea,"

    is on "Uncle" Bill Greer's headstone. One day, maybe, you'll see it.

  4. Ah, I read your Friday poems and thought how they had a familiar feel to them! I too posted poems from a Child's Garden of Verses, but from a much-shortened collection found in an old board book that belonged to my kids.

    Thanks for RLS's story and the Friday poems!

    (Book Brew)


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!