Childhood Poems - Poems For Childhood
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Childhood Ideogram - Poem by Larry Levis
I lay my head sideways on the desk,
My fingers interlocked under my cheekbones,
My eyes closed. It was a three-room schoolhouse,
White, with a small bell tower, an oak tree.
From where I sat, on still days, I'd watch
The oak, the prisoner of that sky, or read
The desk carved with adults' names: Marietta
Martin, Truman Finnell, Marjorie Elm;
The wood hacked or lovingly hollowed, the flies
Settling on the obsolete & built-in inkwells.
I remember, tonight, only details, how
Mrs. Avery, now gone, was standing then
In her beige dress, its quiet, gazelle print
Still dark with lines of perspiration from
The day before; how Gracie Chin had just
Shown me how to draw, with chalk, a Chinese
Ideogram. Where did she go, white thigh
With one still freckle, lost in silk?
No one would say for sure, so that I'd know,
So that all shapes, for days after, seemed
Brushstrokes in Chinese: countries on maps
That shifted, changed colors, or disappeared:
Lithuania, Prussia, Bessarabia;
The numbers four & seven; the question mark.
That year, I ate almost nothing.
I thought my parents weren't my real parents,
I thought there'd been some terrible mistake.
At recess I would sit alone, seeing
In the print of each leaf shadow, an ideogram—
Still, indecipherable, beneath the green sound
The bell still made, even after it had faded,
When the dust-covered leaves of the oak tree
Quivered, slightly, if I looked up in time.
And my father, so distant in those days,
Where did he go, that autumn, when he chose
The chaste, faint ideogram of ash, & I had
To leave him there, white bones in a puzzle
By a plum tree, the sun rising over
The Sierras? It is not Chinese, but English—
When the past tense, when you first learn to use it
As a child, throws all the verbs in the language
Into the long, flat shade of houses you
Ride past, & into town. Your father's driving.
On winter evenings, the lights would come on earlier.
People would be shopping for Christmas. Each hand,
With the one whorl of its fingerprints, with twenty
Delicate bones inside it, reaching up
To touch some bolt of cloth, or choose a gift,
A little different from any other hand.
You know how the past tense turns a sentence dark,
But leaves names, lovers, places showing through:
Gracie Chin, my father, Lithuania;
A beige dress where dark gazelles hold still?
Outside, it's snowing, cold, & a New Year.
The trees & streets are turning white.
I always thought he would come back like this.
I always thought he wouldn't dare be seen.
Comments about Childhood Ideogram by Larry Levis
Poems About Childhood
- 51. Childhood Ideogram , Larry Levis
- 52. 'A Missed Childhood' , Linda Winchell
- 53. Childhood , Mr. Bean
- 54. The Sour Stench Of Childhood , Mary Nagy
- 55. A Walk Through My Childhood , Joseph Anderson
- 56. A Childhood , Stephen Spender
- 57. Childhood , Victor Osorio
- 58. Childhood Revisited , Arti Chopra
- 59. *poem 4 My Childhood Bestie Tmb* , SmashLey Sweetie Simons
- 60. ! Childhood Circles Around , Michael Shepherd
- 61. # Childhood Imaginations , astaldo ELVEN
- 62. Childhood Memories , Christine Kerr
- 63. Len Webster's 'Childhood Is...' , Len Webster
- 64. Childhood Memories , dr. ram sharma
- 65. Changing Your Life In Childhood(For Mich.. , Dónall Dempsey
- 66. Jesus Of My Childhood , Uriah Hamilton
- 67. My Childhood , Kiera R Lewis
- 68. Childhood Pain , Yassar Ali
- 69. Childhood , Pali Girl S...
- 70. My Childhood Friend , Theresa Ann Moore
- 71. I Am A Lot Wiser Now Than In My Childhood , Aldo Kraas
- 72. I Look Through My Childhood , Savio Antonio Vogt
- 73. A Childhood Lesson , Pete Crowther
- 74. My Innocent Childhood , Zeya Mallick
- 75. Childhood , Ananth Patri
- 76. Childhood Home , Theresa Ann Moore
- 77. A Place From Our Childhood , David Harris
- 78. Childhood At The County Fair , Walterrean Salley
- 79. Happy Childhood Memories , Francis Duggan
- 80. Childhood Happiness. , DICKSON MSETI
- 81. Stolen Childhood , Lail Reveal
- 82. My Fondest Childhood Memory , Dee Daffodil
- 83. Death Of A Childhood , Mary Nagy
- 84. Dad's Childhood. , Gillian.E. Shaw
- 85. Childhood Is Calling , Jim Milks
- 86. Childhood For Sale , Amy Marie
- 87. Flashes From Childhood 1. The Clydesdales. , Margery Rehman
- 88. Childhood Friend , Raihana Abdul Jabbar
- 89. Childhood Memories , Mandy Lee
- 90. As Childhood Passed , Old Teenage Poems
- 91. Sonnet: My Childhood , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
- 92. Childhood , Edna Jacques
- 93. Sonnet: My Childhood Reminiscences , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
- 94. My Childhood Memories , David Harris
- 95. Childhood -Vs- Dark Adulthood , Heath Gunn
- 96. Summer Song - Childhood Faith In Childho.. , Kevin Patrick
- 97. Flashes From Childhood 2.; The Lamplight.. , Margery Rehman
- 98. From Childhood To Adulthood , Sharron Stephenson
- 99. Childhood Memories One: Great Spirit Of .. , Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
- 100. Childhood Memories Of Nottingham , Jonathan Goldman a.k.a JGthe ..
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