Stephen Spender

(28 February 1909 – 16 July 1995 / England)

A Childhood


I am glad I met you on the edge
Of your barbarous childhood

In what purity of pleasure
You danced alone like a peasant
For the stamping joy's own sake!

How, set in their sandy sockets,
Your clear, truthful, transparent eyes
Shone out of the black frozen landscape
Of those gray-clothed schoolboys!

How your shy hand offered
The total generosity
Of original unforewarned fearful trust,
In a world grown old in iron hatred!

I am glad to set down
The first and ultimate you,
Your inescapable soul. Although
It fade like a fading smile
Or light falling from faces
Which some grimmer preoccupation replaces.

This happens everywhere at every time:
Joy lacks the cause for joy,
Love the answering love,
And truth the objectless persistent loneliness,
As they grow older,
To become later what they were
In childhood earlier,
In a world of cheating compromise.

Childhood, its own flower,
Flushes from the grasses with no reason
Except the sky of that season.
But the grown desires need objects
And taste of these corrupts the tongue
And the natural need is scattered
In satisfactions which satisfy
A debased need.

Yet all prayers are on die side of
Giving strength to naturalness,
So I pray for nothing new,
I pray only, after such knowledge,
That you may have the strength to be you.

And I shall remember
You who, being younger,
Will probably forget.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Childhood by Stephen Spender )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. because we're both globe-trotters, Mandolyn ...
  2. Interior Constraint, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Silent voice, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
  4. The Gentlemen For Me, Poetic Lilly Emery
  5. The eyes of the stars is the eyes of Sta.., Raymond Sawyer
  6. Let's Live in Peace, Tirupathi Chandrupatla
  7. I Dry My Tears, Poetic Lilly Emery
  8. Valley of an autumn's night, Raluca Mitra
  9. The stars that touch a rose is the star.., Raymond Sawyer
  10. *Halloween Stroll, Alice Vedral Rivera

Poem of the Day

poet Geoffrey Chaucer

Compleyne ne koude, ne might myn herte never,
My peynes halve, ne what torment I have,
Though that I sholde in your presence ben ever,
Myn hertes lady, as wisly he me save
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  9. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  10. If, Rudyard Kipling

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]