I've been reading When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne and stumbled upon this beautiful poem, "The Dormouse and the Doctor".
I would really appreciate if somebody could explain to me in details what is this poem really about, because I have too many questions about it, like:
Who is Dormouse?
Why delphiniums, geraniums and chrysanthemums?
Why did the Doctor ask the Dormouse to say Ninety-nine?
Who are "chrysanthemum people in Kent"?
Here are the opening stanzas of the poem:
There once was a Dormouse who lived in a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red),
And all the day long he'd a wonderful view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue).
A Doctor came hurrying round, and he said:
"Tut-tut, I am sorry to find you in bed.
Just say 'Ninety-nine,' while I look at your chest...
Don't you find that chrysanthemums answer the best?"
The Dormouse looked round at the view and replied
(When he'd said "Ninety-nine") that he'd tried and he'd tried
And much the most answering things that he knew
Were geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue).
The Doctor stood frowning and shaking his head,
And he took up his shiny silk hat as he said:
"What the patient requires is a change," and he went
To see some chrysanthemum people in Kent.
See Wikisource for the complete text of the poem.