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Neverland Origins (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: I’ve always found the history behind how J.M. Barrie came to create Peter Pan incredible.]

James M. Barrie had novelistic aspirations

  when he penned “Little White Bird”

  a serious novel meant for adults

But included among the solemnness

   were miniature chapters

   told as bedtime stories

   from a parent to his children

These tales between

   the fabric of the larger novel

   concerned a singular babe

   who flew out his nursery window

For in the reality of the story

    all children were once birds

    confined to nurseries

     to make them human

The babe managed to escape

     he flew off to an island

     at the center of Kensington Gardens

     where fairies entertained him

      alongside a talkative crow

He became stranded there on that island

      but turned into a ruler among the fairies

         the king of his own Neverland

         and he remained forever young

While “Little White Bird” met with success

        it was the tales of the babe

        that gained far more popularity

        so Barrie gathered them together

        into a storybook on their own

This early version of a babe

        never to grow up

        gave rise to one

        at the second star to the right

A child from Neverland named Peter Pan

       in many ways different than the babe

       Barrie had penned years before

       yet without a single doubt

       the one readers would know the best


18 thoughts on “Neverland Origins (A Poem)

    1. Thanks! I remember being thrilled at learning the background of the Peter Pan stories, and even getting to read the “Little White Bird” where Peter Pan was basically a babe. Hehe. Glad you enjoyed it.


  1. Fascinating! I didn’t know. Yet another example supporting the question of why some things gain notoriety while others do not, even though they are so similar.

    What is it about poetry to you that pulls you toward it? You seem to choose it over prose a lot of the time. Is there a particular reason?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely worthwhile to discover the stories behind classics like Peter Pan, and oftentimes they are just as incredible as the actual tales, I’ve found. I guess J.M. Barrie was somewhat frustrated at first because many of his other works meant for adults didn’t gain as much notoriety as Peter Pan, but it also sounds as if he still enjoyed all happiness it brought. Another part of the background history is that Barrie apparently gave all the rights to Peter Pan to a children’s hospital in London, so now they get all the royalties from any use of the character or related stories–which is also incredible.

      As for me, in a way, I kind of approach my poems like short stories whose structure I get to play around with a bit to add an extra layer of meaning to the overall message. And that’s why most of them are narrative in nature. I have written quite a few prose pieces, but one of the reasons I don’t usually post them here or on other social media sites is that I’m usually trying to submit them to different publications, or developing them into much larger stories. In some instances, my narrative poems are ways for me to test out different creative ideas I have that may become prose pieces, so there is that as well. I hope that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One last fact: there was even an “official” sequel of Peter Pan done as part of a special event done through that aforementioned children’s hospital. The result was a novel called, “Peter Pan in Scarlet,” and it’s a pretty good read. ^_^

        Thank you for the encouragement! I’ll continue to do my best to get my works out there.

        Liked by 1 person

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