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James Whitcomb Riley - A Barefoot Boy

A barefoot boy! I mark him at his play --
    For May is here once more, and so is he, --
    His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee,
And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they:
Cross-hatchings of the nettle, in array
    Of feverish stripes, hint vividly to me
    Of woody pathways winding endlessly
Along the creek, where even yesterday
He plunged his shrinking body -- gasped and shook --
    Yet called the water "warm," with never lack
Of joy. And so, half enviously I look
    Upon this graceless barefoot and his track, -- 
    His toe stubbed -- ay, his big toe-nail knocked back
Like unto the clasp of an old pocketbook.

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Added: Nov 11 2004 | Viewed: 7474 times | Comments and analysis of A Barefoot Boy by James Whitcomb Riley Comments (2)

A Barefoot Boy - Comments and Information

Poet: James Whitcomb Riley
Poem: A Barefoot Boy
Volume: Complete Works
Year: Published/Written in 1883
Poem of the Day: Aug 30 2009

Comment 2 of 2, added on October 7th, 2009 at 8:03 PM.

I warmly remember back in Indiana in grade school in the 1940's when our teacher used to read J.W.Reilly poems to us. Thank you for reminding me.

Marv Brown from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on February 28th, 2005 at 3:36 PM.

I READ THIS IN JR. HIGH , 9 TH.GRADE , AND SOUNDED LIKE MYSELF. I AM 70 NOW , AND I WAS 16 AT THE TIME. THANK YOU!

MICKEY W. MILLER from United States

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