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 )
- Release, Fiona Davidson
- Jacques the Last, John F. McCullagh
- Kaalchakra, The Wheel of Time, Bijay Kant Dubey
- The Moon Spoke to Me, Michael Mira
- Sinkin' boat, Aftab Alam
- Alesha the Cat, Steve Kittell
- Heart Broke, Vijaya mam
- Perhaps I'll See You, Abu Tammam
- A Back Seat, Elia Michael
- Love shall stand, hasmukh amathalal
Poem of the Day
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
- DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
- Heather Burns
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)