Robert Louis Stevenson

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What is a summary of "A Child's Thought" by Robert Louis Stevenson?

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Margarete Abshire eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Stevenson's poem describes the dream life of a seven year old. The first stanza has an upbeat, carefree tone; the child (the poem is in the first person) describes the dragons, "magic fruit," damsels in distress, and other fairy tale characters that he sees so vividly in his dreams when he goes to bed "at seven."

In the second stanza, the tone abruptly shifts; the child wakes up (also "at seven," this time in the morning) to find all the fancies of his dreams have been replaced with everyday items: instead of a castle, there is a chair; instead of a garden, there is a carpet. 

To me, the problem the poem poses is one of point of view. Even though it is in the first person, clearly the words and attitudes expressed are those of the adult poet, not a child. The wistful regret at the loss of the dream world expressed in the second stanza has more to do with Stevenson's own sadness over his lost childhood more than it applies to any actual feelings a real child might have.

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Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This poem by Robert...

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