Robert Louis Stevenson

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What is the meaning of "Parrot islands anchored lie / And, watched by cockatoos and goats" in "Travel" by Robert Louis Stevenson?

These lines from “Travel” by Robert Louis Stevenson refer to a fantasy island that an imaginative child would dearly love to visit. The child in question longs to go to an island where there are lots of parrots and where cockatoos and goats watch lonely inhabitants build their boats like Robinson Crusoe.

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“Travel” by Robert Louis Stevenson expresses the wanderlust of an imaginative child who wishes to visit and explore all the wonderful places in the world that he or she has only read about in books.

Early on in the poem, the speaker expresses the earnest desire to visit a magical tropical island, the kind of place one sees in Stevenson's most famous book Treasure Island. As well as wanting to go and see “Where the golden apples grow”—most probably a reference to the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides in ancient Greek mythology—the speaker expresses a desire to travel to a place where

Parrot islands anchored lie,

And, watched by cockatoos and goats,

Lonely Crusoes building boats;—

What the speaker means by this is that he wants to go to islands teeming with wildlife such as parrots, cockatoos, and goats. And on these islands, “Lonely Crusoes” will be watched by the local wildlife as they go about their business building boats.

This is an obvious reference to Robinson Crusoe, a famous story about a man who ends up being shipwrecked on a remote tropical island—the very same kind of remote tropical island that the speaker of “Travel” wishes to visit and explore.

The island lies “anchored” in that it is fixed in its position in the sea. The implication would seem to be that this is a place where the speaker would like to spend a lot of time before heading off on his next adventure.

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