Collecting old editions of Alice in Wonderland wasn’t an original idea. A good friend Erin had many copies and started giving me some, and over the years my eyes have been drawn to so many pretty jackets that a little collection of my own began. It’s my favorite story in the world and the origin of Little Bat (twinkle twinkle little bat, sang the Mad Hatter).

I was reading through the 1951/62 Washington Square Press edition I found yesterday this morning and landed on a poem at the end. And because it’s too beautiful not to leave you with before boarding a flight to Australia, here goes:

A boat, beneath a sunny sky

Lingering   onward dreamily

In an evening of July —

Children three that nestle near,

Eager eye and willing ear,

Pleased a simple tale to hear —

Long has paled that sunny sky:

Echoes fade and memories die:

Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantom wise,

Alice moving under skies

Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,

Eager eye and willing ear,

Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,

Dreaming as the days go by,

Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream —

Lingering in the golden gleam —

Life, what is it but a dream?


Lewis Carroll

(editor’s note: The initial letters of this poem when read downward give the full name of the original Alice - Alice Pleasance Liddell.)

photo from my trip to Boulder a few months ago.