Even as a child
Even as a child
my face was “gloomy.” I found
few reasons to smile, none to laugh:
father gutting his great gifts
for the cheers of clowns.
For us. For money. My mother
dazed by drugs. My brother
charming, selfless. But also
smirking, corrupt. All lying,
and loving each other. Comedy?
From the fool’s angle, the coward’s angle. Laughter
means turning your back on suffering.
And on the hard truth that tragedy
writes the last act—always. I loved
the sea because it said that.
With infinite dignity and calm
and terrible firmness.
Knowing too well
the struggle and sorrow of life I tried hard
to believe, to help. In plays I wanted
to bring our past alive—the brave dreams.
But probing deep I saw cruelty, decay.
In my last year I could only rage
that our country too had cast away
the best chance ever—like my father!
For greed, blind greed, we grew deaf
to the one question that matters, “What
does it profit a man if he gain the whole world but...”
Damn! Damn our dumb callousness.
Eugene O'Neill's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Even as a child by Eugene O'Neill )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Alone, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Winter Solstice, Jacqueline C Nash
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
Poem of the Day
- Indian Egnlish, Where Is It? Who The Spe.., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Blankets Of Silence, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Aisle of our hope's, Elvis Airohi
- A Little While, Luo Zhihai
- Tomb-sweeping Day, Miss Our Grandpa and .., Luo Zhihai
- Not Tied To Limits Of Reality, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Tolerancee is...., hasmukh amathalal
- Recalling Sequences, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Sleep, Adam Latham
- Dead To You, Dexsta Ray