robert louis stevenson BED IN SUMMER By / robert louis stevenson
The main idea of the poem is that the weather in England causes some problems to children who have to follow certain system in their life. The sun rises late in winter and sets late in summer. The poet wants to tell us that he can't enjoy the beauty of nature because of weather conditions in England and being a child he has to follow certain rules. In fact the poet expresses his feeling of sorrow because he finds it unfair to get up too early and sleep too early as well. Children complain of obeying orders of grown- ups and call for freedom.
The first stanza In winter I get up at night(a) And dress by yellow candle light,(a) In summer, quite the other way,(b) I have to go to bed by day.(b)
Paraphrase The poet is unhappy because he gents up early before sunrise in winter and at the same time, he goes to bed before sun- set in summer as the sun sets late in summer.
The second stanza I have to go to bed and see(c) The birds still hopping on the tree.(c) Or hear the grown-up people's feet(d) Still going past me in the street.(d)
The poet envies birds and grown-ups because they are free. He goes to be, but birds jump in the trees happily and the grown- up people go around in the streets as he can hear their foot steps very clearly. Paraphrase
The third stanza And does it not seem hard to you,(e) To have to go to bed by day.(e) And I should like so much to play,(a) When all the sky is clear and blue,(e)
He makes it clear, by asking us a question which shows that he is sad and it is hard for him to go to bed while the sky is clear and blue. He is supposed to play and enjoy the beauty of nature instead of going to bed while it is still day time.
Commentary : - The poet succeeded in making us pity him. His way of writing is very impressive. He expresses the feeling of children who want to be free to enjoy life and nature. The poem consists of three stanzas that express one main theme (idea). The rhyming scheme is aa bb - The rhyme helped the poet to express his genuine (pure and true) feeling of sorrow. The poet's words are simple and are cleverly chosen to show a talented poet.
1- What have you understand from "Bed in summer"?
This poem is a good example of expressing one's feelings towards weather conditions and being unfair to adapt yourself to those miserable conditions. The poet effectively gives us an idea about the weather in England. The poet says :
And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play, To have to go to bed by day.
The poet ask this question to show how it is unfair to sleep while the sky is clear and blue.
2- How does the poet express his feelings in "Bed in summer"?
In " Bed in summer" the poet uses very simple, but effective words to tell us about his feeling of sorrow and how the weather conditions in England annoy him. He shows how he wants to be like the hoping birds on the tree. The following lines show this:
I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree.
increase our feeling of pity for the poet who cannot be like the birds because he has to go to bed. We feel that child is controlled by grown – ups and wants to be free, but he cannot. I enjoy reading the poem and found it impressive at the same time.
3-Why did the poet write the poem "Bed in summer"?
The poet wrote " Bed in summer" to express his pure sad feeling of sorrow for not being able to enjoy life and the beauty of nature because of being controlled to sleep while the sun was still in the sky in summer. In winter, he gets up early before it rises. There is no time to enjoy the beauty of nature. He says :
In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candle light, In summer, quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.
In a very simple and effective way, the poet gives us an idea about the weather in England and how he has to follow the rules of adults by saying, "I have to". He also paints pictures by choosing words such as " yellow candle light"
4- What do you think of the poem "Bed in summer" as a poem that shows how children feel when they are controlled by grown – ups ?
The poet shows how it is terrible to sleep and get up at a certain time. He made use of weather conditions in England to tell us that. He asks a question to express his feelings of sorrow.
And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play To have to go to bed by day.
We feel pity for a child who is controlled by adults. The choice of the word " hard" show that the poet is very sad and that affects us. He paints a picture of the sky by using the adjectives " clear and blue". We can see with the poet the blue, clear sky and feel that he should have enjoyed that beauty of nature instead of going to bed in summer.