Now We Are Six is a 1927 book of children's poetry by A. A. Milne, with illustrations by E. H. Shepard. It is the second collection of children's poems following Milne's When We Were Very Young, which was first published in 1924. The collection contains thirty-five verses, including eleven poems that feature Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations.

Now We Are Six
First edition (Methuen)
AuthorA. A. Milne
IllustratorE. H. Shepard
LanguageEnglish
SeriesWinnie-the-Pooh
GenreChildren's poetry
PublisherMethuen & Co. Ltd. (London)
Publication placeUnited Kingdom
Media typePrint (hardback and paperback)
Preceded byWhen We Were Very Young 
TextNow We Are Six at Wikisource

Contents

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  1. "Solitude"
  2. "King John's Christmas"
  3. "Busy"
  4. "Sneezles"
  5. "Binker"
  6. "Cherry Stones"
  7. "The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak"
  8. "Buttercup Days"
  9. "The Charcoal-Burner"
  10. "Us Two"
  11. "The Old Sailor"
  12. "The Engineer"
  13. "Journey's End"
  14. "Furry Bear"
  15. "Forgiven"
  16. "The Emperor's Rhyme"
  17. "Knight-in-Armour"
  18. "Come Out with Me"
  19. "Down by the Pond"
  20. "The Little Black Hen"
  21. "The Friend"
  22. "The Good Little Girl"
  23. "A Thought"
  24. "King Hilary and The Beggarman"
  25. "Swing Song"
  26. "Explained"
  27. "Twice Times"
  28. "The Morning Walk"
  29. "Cradle Song"
  30. "Waiting at The Window"
  31. "Pinkle Purr"
  32. "Wind on the Hill"
  33. "Forgotten"
  34. "In the Dark"
  35. "The End"

Analysis

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I've had my supper, And had my supper, And HAD my supper and all; I've heard the story Of Cinderella, And how she went to the ball; I've cleaned my teeth, And I've said my prayers, And I've cleaned and said them right; And they've all of them been And kissed me lots, They've all of said "Good-night."

A. A. Milne, In the Dark

The book's collection of poems have recurring themes of childlike innocence and characteristics that numerous scholars have studied. The cognitive psychologist George Miller has argued that the poem "In the Dark" was inspired by crib talk.[1] Furthermore, "In the Dark" can be read as an endorsement of childhood "as a golden era where... innocence, unqualified parental love, [and] irresponsibility" are commonly occurring traits.[2] Author Elena Goodwin postulates that "King Hilary and the Beggarman" characterizes the poem's titular character as "like a small child, [that] excitedly anticipates the various Christmas gifts that" he will receive.[3]

 
Christopher Robin with Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet from In the Dark


Legacy

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The book's title and function as a collection of poems has been parodied or influential following its publication. In 2003, Neil Gaiman released Now We Are Sick, a poem anthology book featuring sci-fi, fantasy, and horror poems that thirty authors wrote.[4] In 2017, the BBC and James Goss released Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred, which featured a collection of poems about The Doctor with illustrations by then Doctor Who show-runner, Russel T. Davies.[5]

By 1928, soprano Mimi Crawford recorded some poems from the collection set to music.[6] Harold Fraser-Simon created the compositions.[7]

The poem "Us Two" features Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh spending time together. Some of the language in this poem is paraphrased by the song "Forever & Ever" from Pooh's Grand Adventure.[8]

"So wherever I am, there's always Pooh, There's always Pooh and Me. "What would I do?" I said to Pooh, "If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True, It isn't much fun for One, but Two, Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. "That's how it is," says Pooh."

A. A. Milne, "Us Two"

The book entered the public domain in the United States in 2023 along with other 1927 works.[9]

References

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  1. ^ Miller, G. (1962) Foreword by a psychologist, pp. 13-17, In Weir RH. (1962). Language in the Crib. University of Michigan; Edition 2, (1970) Mouton. OCLC 300988484
  2. ^ Cleaver, Hedy; Unell, Ira (2011). Children's needs - parenting capacity: child abuse, parental mental illness, learning disability, substance misuse, and domestic violence. Stationery Office. pp. Preface. ISBN 9780117063655. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  3. ^ Goodwin, Elena (2019). Translating England Into Russian - The Politics of Children's Literature in the Soviet Union and Modern Russia. Bloomsbury. p. 124. ISBN 9781350134003. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  4. ^ "Neil Gaiman | Neil's Work | Books | Now We Are Sick". www.neilgaiman.com. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  5. ^ "Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred". HarperCollins. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  6. ^ The Gramophone. (1927). United Kingdom: C. Mackenzie.
  7. ^ The Chesterian .... (1927). United Kingdom: J. & W. Chester, Limited.
  8. ^ Walt Disney Records (Ft. Frankie J. Galasso & Jim Cummings) – Forever and Ever, retrieved 27 February 2023
  9. ^ "Public Domain Day 2023 | Duke University School of Law". web.law.duke.edu. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
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