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Come Hither: A Family Treasure Hardcover – August 27, 1990
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Hardcover, August 27, 1990
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Hardbound collection of rhymes & poems for the young of all ages. 777 pages.
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Come Hither is a compilation of poetry on child friendly topics ranging from the time of Chaucer to that of its compiler, Walter de la Mare, himself a noted early twentieth century English poet and short story writer. The poems come from named authors or from nursery rhymes and traditional English and Scottish songs and ballads. There are obscure end notes at the back for some of the poems, which serve to instruct and explicate poetry in general.
I think the origin of Come Hither owes something to another short anthology for children by the poet John Drinkwater, named The Way of Poetry, published only a few years before. Drinkwater's anthology is shorter, but tighter, and of higher average quality of poems. In particular, several of the nursery rhymes in Way of Poetry are discussed in the introductory story of Come Hiter.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Come Hither is its introductory story, itself one of de la Mare's best pieces of short fiction for children. De la Mare supposedly relates the story of how he found the poetry compilation. It's a curious allegory which progressively challenges the child's analytical ability. And that of myself as well! I have never been able to figure out the meaning of Sara Linnet Queck's name in the story. My purpose in writing this review is to tap the collective knowledge of my readers in hopes of interpreting this riddle, since they are so good at satyrs. This is my way of crowd sourcing Amazon.