Happy Birthday to Pooh's Biographer

Yesterday was the birthday of Winnie-the-Pooh's biographer, A.A. Milne, who was born in London, England, in 1882.

Milne got into college on a scholarship for mathematics, but once there he spent all his time writing funny poems and essays for campus publications.

After graduation, he wrote for Punch magazine, where he became one of the leading humorists of his day. Though Milne wrote 30 plays and 60 books for adults, he is remembered for his handful of storybooks about Winnie-the-Pooh and the other stuffed animal friends of his son Christopher Robin.

The young father became a children's writer when one of his friends who had just started a children's magazine asked him to contribute. Stuck in a holiday house in Wales one rainy vacation, Milne began writing. He later said, "So there I was with an exercise-book and a pencil, and a fixed determination not to leave the heavenly solitude of that summer-house until it stopped raining...and there on the other side of the lawn was a child with whom I had lived for three years...and here within me unforgettable memories of my own childhood."

So he began writing a series of poems, most of them addressed to his son, Christopher Robin. The poems were collected in his book When We Were Very Young (1924), which was a huge success.

Benjamin Hoff the author of The Tao of Pooh, ponders in his book the question of why Pooh is so lovable. He answers the question by stating that Pooh is the Epitome of the Uncarved Block. His word capture the magic of the bear this way: "From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times. As Piglet put it in Winnie-the-Pooh, 'Pooh hasn't much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right.'"

Comments

  1. We moved around a lot when I was a child and I always managed to take my little Pooh books with me. I loved them.

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  2. Sandy, I hope you don't mind but there's an easy "Linky Love" meme that I've tagged you for.
    Find it here: http://workofthepoet.blogspot.com/2008/01/linky-love.html
    Of coursede you don't have to do it. :)

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  3. Pooh is a great invention!

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  4. Anonymous11:59 AM

    what's amazing about Pooh is that we all can relate to him. We all understand him on one level when we're kids and then on another when we're grown up.

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  5. I grew up with Poo Bear... I'd read books about his adventures... and see drawings and cartoons... I have played 'Poo Sticks' on local bridges.
    Jane likes Poo's friend Tigger best. We still have stuffed toy from this series of stories.

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  6. I have a peom by Pooh on my blog! We have a book, its so lovely. I just had to comment!! haha

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