One poem I would most certainly ban because it will have a lethal effect on young impressionable minds is “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson.
It is clear that this poem will unhinge the minds of children, because it will make them as obsessed with their shadow as the poet appears to be, and they will not be able to walk straight along the road if, as in the Irish Blessing, their shadow falls behind them, because they will be forever turning around to check whether it is still there.
They will also do naughty things like throw stones at windows and climb walls, to see if their shadow follows suit.
Indeed the poet knows that the fixation with his shadow has taken over his life and challenged his mental stability. He insists that he can see the shadow jump into his bed before him. Now we all know that this is ridiculous because there is no shadow that would willingly go to bed at night when it can have so much more additional fun, accompanying the Sandman out on his Darkness Rounds.
The poet says his shadow is alive – what nonsense! He says it grows longer and shorter as he feels like. It is clear that the poet was sleeping during his geography, physics, biology and chemistry lessons, because he would have known that an shadow is only the product of one’s imagination and as such will only grow fatter and thinner and longer and shorter and wider and narrower and bigger and smaller according to how much the imagination feeds it and I have run out of breath so I will stop here.
He does not realise, by the way, that the shadow sticks close to him because it is his, and no one else wants it.
Stories of an American couple's adventures in Italy
'Ghandi x' Nghid' (I have something to say) is a blog that focuses on current affairs and personal reflections - Andrew Azzopardi