As I was walking up the stair
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today-
I wish, I wish he'd stay away.

Written by William Hughes Mearns (1875-1965) in 1899 and published in The Psychoed. Some sources incorrectly state that this text is a quotation of Hughes Mearns rather than a poem.

The poem is often seen slightly modified, and occasionally renamed "Antigonish", such as:

As I was walking down the stair
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
Oh I wish he'd go away!

People who have read this poem seem to consider it from a number of very different points of view. One source said that this poem has been referred to by psychiatrists when trying to describe "the weight of nothingness" felt by some of their patients. Other sources refer to it merely as a silly poem for children.

Edith Layton, an author, used the poem to help describe the feeling of not being alone in an empty room: "Did you ever feel the back of your neck prickle, and turn, expecting to see someone? And there's no one there? Sometimes it's frightening, sometimes not. "

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.