Disobedience by A. A. Milne

For “Throwback Thursday”– and because I love this poem more than almost any other — I present to you, “Disobedience” by A. A. Milne.  My mother claims that I knew this poem by heart before I could read, certainly at two or three years of age. I believe her. It’s a great poem, and one that would appeal immensely to a child. And, most importantly, it sounds good and it’s very fun to read. Try it today! (The poem’s formatting is quirky, and I’m not going to try and fix it here –click through to The Poetry Foundation for a better look.)

Illustrations in the original book, When We Were Very Young, by the incomparable E. H. Shepard. In the illustration above, King John (and the Queen and the Prince) are saying they are very sorry to poor James.

Disobedience

By A. A. Milne

     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.
     James James
     Morrison’s Mother
     Said to herself, said she:
“I can get right down to the end of the town
     and be back in time for tea.”
     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—FORTY 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.”
     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)
     J. J.
     M. M.
     W. G. Du P.
     Took great
     C/o his M*****
     Though he was only 3.
     J. J.
     Said to his M*****
     “M*****,” he said, said he:
“You-must-never-go-down-to-the-end-of-the-town-
     if-you-don’t-go-down-with ME!”

A. A. Milne, “Disobedience” from The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh. Copyright © The Trustees of the Pooh Properties, Curtis Brown Limited, London.

You can see more of my photos from my own books, at A Lane of Yellow (my Poem-A-Day image blog on Tumblr).

I like this following image, but I can’t confirm that A. A. Milne ever said it. Pooh talks about stopping to think, but not exactly this way. Does anyone know for sure? Of course, a good poem can always help you when you need to stop thinking.

stop to think and forget to start

One thought on “Disobedience by A. A. Milne

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