Children

C
The Drum Major of the Freedom Parade by Margaret Burroughs
Margaret Burroughs
(For all children who wondered about the tragic event of April 4, 1968 at Memphis.) My children, my children, remember the day
When the Drum Major of Freedom's parade went away.
Stop crying now little children and listen
And you will know for the future what really did happen.

You will know why your father was solemn and grim
And why mother's eyes were wet at the rim.
You will know why the flags flew at half mast
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What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black (Reflections of an African-American Mother) by Margaret Burroughs
Margaret Burroughs
1963 What shall I tell my children who are black
Of what it means to be a captive in this dark skin
What shall I tell my dear one, fruit of my womb,
Of how beautiful they are when everywhere they turn
They are faced with abhorrence of everything that is black.
Villains are black with black hearts.
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What Shall We Tell Our Children? An Addenda, 1973 by Margaret Burroughs
Margaret Burroughs
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since 1963. Then, my concernwas particularly for my own people and this version was written especially for them. I am happy that it has done and is doing its job. However, I want it to be known, that I am not a proponent of the concept of cultural nationalism. I dearly love and am proud of my good, serious, sincere black people, yet at the same time, my concern is with all people of goodwill no matter the color. I make no mystique of blackness. I am a humanist. Indeed, I am auniversalist. This truth, I know. The liberation of black people in the United States is tightly linked with the liberation of black people in the far flungdiaspora. Further, and more important, the liberation of black and oppressed people all over the world, is linked with the struggles of the workers of the world of every nationality and color against the common oppressors, overlords, and exploiters of their labor.
Thus it was only natural that I should write "What Shall We Tell Our Children?" in 1973. I have tried to tell them the facts of life and the truth as I see it:
I hope I have succeeded.
What shall we tell our children who are black?
What shall we tell our children who are white?
What shall we tell children of every race and hue?
For all children are the children of all of us
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The Hot Dog Factory (1937) by Grace Cavalieri
Grace Cavalieri
Of course now children take it for granted but once
we watched boxes on a conveyor belt, sliding by,
magically filled and closed, packed and wrapped.
We couldn't get enough of it, running alongside the machine.
In kindergarten Miss Haynes walked our class down
Stuyvesant Avenue, then up Prospect Street
to the hot dog factory. Only the girls got to go
as the boys were too wild.
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An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum by Stephen Spender
Stephen Spender
Far far from gusty waves these children's faces.
Like rootless weeds, the hair torn round their pallor:
The tall girl with her weighed-down head. The paper-
seeming boy, with rat's eyes. The stunted, unlucky heir
Of twisted bones, reciting a father's gnarled disease,
His lesson, from his desk. At back of the dim class
One unnoted, sweet and young. His eyes live in a dream
Of squirrel's game, in tree room, other than this.
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Long, too long America by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn'd from joys andprosperity only,
But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing, grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your childrenen-masse really are,
(For who except myself has yet conceiv'd what your children en-masse really are?)
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Jews in the Land of Israel by Yehuda Amichai
Yehuda Amichai
We forget where we came from. Our Jewish
names from the Exile give us away,
bring back the memory of flower and fruit, medieval cities,
metals, knights who turned to stone, roses,
spices whose scent drifted away, precious stones, lots of red,
handicrafts long gone from the world
(the hands are gone too).

Circumcision does it to us,
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August 5, 1942 by Jerzy Ficowski
Jerzy Ficowski
In memory of   Janusz Korczak What did the Old Doctor do
in a cattle car
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The Children by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
1914-18

("The Honours of War"—A Diversity of Creatures) These were our children who died for our lands: they were dear in our sight.
We have only the memory left of their home-treasured sayings and laughter.
The price of our loss shall be paid to our hands, not another’s hereafter.
Neither the Alien nor Priest shall decide on it. That is our right.
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The Verdicts by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
(JUTLAND)

1916 Not in the thick of the fight,
Not in the press of the odds,
Do the heroes come to their height,
Or we know the demi-gods.
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Exodus by George Oppen
George Oppen
Miracle of the children the brilliant
Children the word
Liquid as woodlands Children?

When she was a child I read Exodus
To my daughter 'The children of Israel. . .'

Pillar of fire
Pillar of cloud

We stared at the end
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Tell all the truth but tell it slant — (1263) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
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Out of Water by Marie Ponsot
Marie Ponsot
A new embroidery of flowers, canary color,
dots the grass already dotty
with aster-white and clover.

I warn, “They won’t last, out of water.”
The children pick some anyway.

In or out of  water
children don’t last either.

I watch them as they pick.
Still free of  what’s next
and what was yesterday
they pick today.
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Sonnet by George Henry Boker
George Henry Boker
Brave comrade, answer! When you joined the war,
What left you? “Wife and children, wealth and friends,
A storied home whose ancient roof-tree bends
Above such thoughts as love tells o’er and o’er.”
Had you no pang or struggle? “Yes; I bore
Such pain on parting as at hell’s gate rends
The entering soul, when from its grasp ascends
The last faint virtue which on earth it wore.”
You loved your home, your kindred, children, wife;
You loathed yet plunged into war’s bloody whirl!—
What urged you? “Duty! Something more than life.
That which made Abraham bare the priestly knife,
And Isaac kneel, or that young Hebrew girl
Who sought her father coming from the strife.”
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The Mother by Ruth Stone
Ruth Stone
Here where the rooms are dryly still
Who is this dustily asleep
While juicy children run the field?

Where is her ever deepening well
Whose buckets to a fullness dip
For needs compassion must fulfill?

Like freshets they themselves may yield
A little to the turned up cup,
But death is in the long dry spell.

Run children, run, the light grows dull,
And she who keeps the well must sleep,
And rain is unpredictable.
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Morning of Drunkenness by Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud
O my good! O my beautiful! Atrocious fanfare where I won’t stumble! enchanted rack whereon I am stretched! Hurrah for the amazing work and the marvelous body, for the first time! It began amid the laughter of children, it will end with it. This poison will remain in all our veins even when, as the trumpets turn back, we’ll be restored to the old discord. O let us now, we who are so deserving of these torments! let us fervently gather up that superhuman promise made to our created body and soul: that promise, that madness! Elegance, knowledge, violence! They promised us to bury the tree of good and evil in the shade, to banish tyrannical honesties, so that we might bring forth our very pure love. It began with a certain disgust and ended—since we weren’t able to grasp this eternity all at once—in a panicked rout of perfumes.
Laughter of children, discretion of slaves, austerity of virgins, horror in the faces and objects of today, may you be consecrated by the memory of that wake. It began in all loutishness, now it’s ending among angels of flame and ice.
Little eve of drunkenness, holy! were it only for the mask with which you gratified us. We affirm you, method! We don’t forget that yesterday you glorified each one of our ages. We have faith in the poison. We know how to give our whole lives every day.
Behold the time of the Assassins.
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The Gatekeeper’s Children by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
This is the house of the very rich.
You can tell because it’s taken all
The colors and left only the spaces
Between colors where the absence
Of rage and hunger survives. If you could
Get close you could touch the embers
Of red, the tiny beaks of yellow,
That jab back, the sacred blue that mimics
The color of heaven. Behind the house
The children digging in the flower beds
Have been out there since dawn waiting
To be called in for hot chocolate or tea
Or the remnants of meals. No one can see
Them, even though children are meant
To be seen, and these are good kids
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Portrait of an Old Woman on the College Tavern Wall by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
Oh down at the tavern
the children are singing
around their round table
and around me still.
Did you hear what it said?

I only said
how there is a pewter urn
pinned to the tavern wall,
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The Children of the Poor by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
1

People who have no children can be hard:
Attain a mail of ice and insolence:
Need not pause in the fire, and in no sense
Hesitate in the hurricane to guard.
And when wide world is bitten and bewarred
They perish purely, waving their spirits hence
Without a trace of grace or of offense
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Children in Slavery by Eliza Lee Follen
Eliza Lee Follen
When children play the livelong day,
Like birds and butterflies;
As free and gay, sport life away,
And know not care nor sighs:
Then earth and air seem fresh and fair,
All peace below, above:
Life’s flowers are there, and everywhere
Is innocence and love.

When children pray with fear all day,
A blight must be at hand:
Then joys decay, and birds of prey
Are hovering o’er the land:
When young hearts weep as they go to sleep,
Then all the world seems sad:
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January 1919 by Christopher Middleton
Christopher Middleton
What if I know, Liebknecht, who shot you dead.
Tiergarten trees unroll
staggering shadow, in spite of it all.
I am among the leaves; the inevitable
voices
have nothing left to say, the holed head
bleeding across a heap of progressive magazines;
torn from your face,
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Of History and Hope by Miller Williams
Miller Williams
We have memorized America,
how it was born and who we have been and where.
In ceremonies and silence we say the words,
telling the stories, singing the old songs.
We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.
The great and all the anonymous dead are there.
We know the sound of all the sounds we brought.
The rich taste of it is on our tongues.
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Poverty by Jane Taylor
Jane Taylor
I saw an old cottage of clay,
And only of mud was the floor;
It was all falling into decay,
And the snow drifted in at the door.

Yet there a poor family dwelt,
In a hovel so dismal and rude;
And though gnawing hunger they felt,
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Sent with a Flower-Pot Begging a Slip of Geranium by Christian Milne
Christian Milne
I’ve sent my empty pot again
To beg another slip;
The last you gave, I’m grieved to tell
December’s frost did nip.

I love fair Flora and her train
But nurse her children ill;
I tend too little, or too much;
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A Tenth Anniversary Photograph, 1952 by Miller Williams
Miller Williams
Look at their faces. You know it all.
They married the week he left for the war.
Both are gentle, intelligent people,
as all four of their parents were.

They’ve never talked about much
except the children. They love each other
but never wondered why they married
or had the kids or stayed together.
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from Light: Winter by Inger Christensen
Inger Christensen
Winter is out for a lot this year
the beach already is stiff
all will be one will be one this year
wings and ice will be one in the world
all will be changed in the world:
the boat will hear its steps on the ice
the war will hear its war on the ice
the woman will hear her hour on the ice
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Mary's Lamb by Sarah Josepha Hale
Sarah Josepha Hale

Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow,
And every where that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go;
He followed her to school one day —
That was against the rule,
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.

And so the Teacher turned him out,
But still he lingered near,
And waited patiently about,
Till Mary did appear.
And then he ran to her and laid
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Deerfield:1703 by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Before the break of day the minister was awakened
by the sound of hatchets
breaking open the door and windows.
He ran towards the door:
about twenty Indians with painted faces
were coming into the house
howling.

Three Indians took hold of him,
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Ghetto Funeral by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Followed by his lodge, shabby men stumbling over the
cobblestones,
and his children, faces red and ugly with tears, eyes and
eyelids red,
in the black coffin in the black hearse the old man.

No longer secretly grieving
that his children are not strong enough to go the way he
wanted to go
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Poor Crow! by Mary Mapes Dodge
Mary Mapes Dodge
Give me something to eat,
Good people, I pray;
I have really not had
One mouthful today!

I am hungry and cold,
And last night I dreamed
A scarecrow had caught me—
Good land, how I screamed!

Of one little children
And six ailing wives
(No, one wife and six children),
Not one of them thrives.

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Rhode Island by William Meredith
William Meredith
Here at the seashore they use the clouds over & over
again, like the rented animals in Aïda.
In the late morning the land breeze
turns and now the extras are driving
all the white elephants the other way.
What language are these children shouting in?
He is lying on the beach listening.

The sand knocks like glass, struck by bare heels.
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the snow is melting by Kobayashi Issa
Kobayashi Issa
The snow is melting
and the village is flooded
with children.
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The wild and wavy event by Lorine Niedecker
Lorine Niedecker
The wild and wavy event
now chintz at the window

was revolution . . .
Adams

to Miss Abigail Smith:
You have faults

You hang your head down
like a bulrush
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anyone lived in a pretty how town by E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
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Autumn by T. E. Hulme
T. E. Hulme
A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.
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Awaking in New York by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
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Daily Trials by a Sensitive Man by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Oh, there are times
When all this fret and tumult that we hear
Do seem more stale than to the sexton’s ear
His own dull chimes.

Ding dong! ding dong!
The world is in a simmer like a sea
Over a pent volcano,—woe is me
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Days of Our Years by John Frederick Nims
John Frederick Nims
It’s brief and bright, dear children; bright and brief.
Delight’s the lightning; the long thunder’s grief.
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The Dolls by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
Night after night forever the dolls lay stiff
by the children’s dreams. On the goose-feathers of the rich,
on the straw of the poor, on the gypsy ground—
wherever the children slept, dolls have been found
in the subsoil of the small loves stirred again
by the Finders After Everything. Down lay
the children by their hanks and twists. Night after night
grew over imagination. The fuzzies shed, the bright
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Edwardian Christmas by John Fuller
John Fuller
Father’s opinion of savages
And dogs, a gay Bloomsbury epigram:
‘The brutes may possibly have souls,’ he says,
‘But reason, no. Nevertheless, I am
Prepared not to extend this to my spouse
And children.’ This demands a careful pity:
Poor Father! Whooping and romping in their house,
A holiday from ruin in the City.
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The Greatest Love by Anna Swir
Anna Swir
She is sixty. She lives
the greatest love of her life.

She walks arm-in-arm with her dear one,
her hair streams in the wind.
Her dear one says:
“You have hair like pearls.”

Her children say:
“Old fool.”
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Here Where Coltrane Is by Michael S. Harper
Michael S. Harper
Soul and race
are private dominions,
memories and modal
songs, a tenor blossoming,
which would paint suffering
a clear color but is not in
this Victorian house
without oil in zero degree
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I Will Not Save the World by Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
I like to cross
these borders. They take place
between the dead & dead.
I make my mind up
to be honest
only I fail to meet
their expectations.
I will not save the world.
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“It Out-Herods Herod. Pray You, Avoid It.” by Anthony Hecht
Anthony Hecht
Tonight my children hunch
Toward their Western, and are glad
As, with a Sunday punch,
The Good casts out the Bad.

And in their fairy tales
The warty giant and witch
Get sealed in doorless jails
And the match-girl strikes it rich.
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Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson
A group of young men in Jacksonville, Florida, arranged to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday in 1900. My brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, and I decided to write a song to be sung at the exercises. I wrote the words and he wrote the music. Our New York publisher, Edward B. Marks, made mimeographed copies for us, and the song was taught to and sung by a chorus of five hundred colored school children.
Shortly afterwards my brother and I moved away from Jacksonville to New York, and the song passed out of our minds. But the school children of Jacksonville kept singing it; they went off to other schools and sang it; they became teachers and taught it to other children. Within twenty years it was being sung over the South and in some other parts of the country. Today the song, popularly known as the Negro National Hymn, is quite generally used.
The lines of this song repay me in an elation, almost of exquisite anguish, whenever I hear them sung by Negro children. Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
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Napoleon by Miroslav Holub
Miroslav Holub
Children, when was
Napoleon Bonaparte born,
asks teacher.

A thousand years ago, the children say.
A hundred years ago, the children say.
Last year, the children say.
No one knows.

Children, what did
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No Moon Floods the Memory of That Night by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
No moon floods the memory of that night
only the rain I remember the cold rain
against our faces and mixing with your tears
only the rain I remember the cold rain
and your mouth soft and warm
no moon no stars no jagged pain
of lightning only my impotent tongue
and the red rage within my brain
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The Slave Auction by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
The sale began—young girls were there,
Defenseless in their wretchedness,
Whose stifled sobs of deep despair
Revealed their anguish and distress.

And mothers stood, with streaming eyes,
And saw their dearest children sold;
Unheeded rose their bitter cries,
While tyrants bartered them for gold.
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Song from a Country Fair by Léonie Adams
Léonie Adams
When tunes jigged nimbler than the blood
And quick and high the bows would prance
And every fiddle string would burst
To catch what’s lost beyond the string,
While half afraid their children stood,
I saw the old come out to dance.
The heart is not so light at first,
But heavy like a bough in spring.
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sorrow song by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
for the eyes of the children,
the last to melt,
the last to vaporize,
for the lingering
eyes of the children, staring,
the eyes of the children of
buchenwald,
of viet nam and johannesburg,
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Winter Dusk by Walter de La Mare
Walter de La Mare
Dark frost was in the air without,
The dusk was still with cold and gloom,
When less than even a shadow came
And stood within the room.

But of the three around the fire,
None turned a questioning head to look,
Still read a clear voice, on and on,
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You Could Pick It Up by Patricia Goedicke
Patricia Goedicke
You could pick it up by the loose flap of a roof
and all the houses would come up together
in the same pattern attached, inseparable

white cubes, olive trees, flowers
dangling from your hand
a few donkey hooves might stick out

flailing the air for balance,
but the old women would cling like sea urchins
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Amusing Our Daughters by Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Kizer
after Po Chü-i,
for Robert Creeley We don’t lack people here on the Northern coast,
But they are people one meets, not people one cares for.
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Aubade-Harlem by Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton
for Baroness G. de Hueck Across the cages of the keyless aviaries,
The lines and wires, the gallows of the broken kites,
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A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky by Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July —

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear —

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
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The circle game by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
i

The children on the lawn
joined hand to hand
go round and round

each arm going into
the next arm, around
full circle
until it comes
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The Cry of the Children by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"Pheu pheu, ti prosderkesthe m ommasin, tekna;"
[[Alas, alas, why do you gaze at me with your eyes, my children.]]—Medea. Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years ?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers, —
And that cannot stop their tears.
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Dogs Are Shakespearean, Children Are Strangers by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
Dogs are Shakespearean, children are strangers.
Let Freud and Wordsworth discuss the child,
Angels and Platonists shall judge the dog,
The running dog, who paused, distending nostrils,
Then barked and wailed; the boy who pinched his sister,
The little girl who sang the song from Twelfth Night,
As if she understood the wind and rain,
The dog who moaned, hearing the violins in concert.
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The Dying Child by John Clare
John Clare
He could not die when trees were green,
For he loved the time too well.
His little hands, when flowers were seen,
Were held for the bluebell,
As he was carried o'er the green.

His eye glanced at the white-nosed bee;
He knew those children of the spring:
When he was well and on the lea
He held one in his hands to sing,
Which filled his heart with glee.

Infants, the children of the spring!
How can an infant die
When butterflies are on the wing,
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The Forsaken Merman by Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
Come, dear children, let us away;
Down and away below!
Now my brothers call from the bay,
Now the great winds shoreward blow,
Now the salt tides seaward flow;
Now the wild white horses play,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
Children dear, let us away!
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The Housewife by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Here is the House to hold me — cradle of all the race;
Here is my lord and my love, here are my children dear —
Here is the House enclosing, the dear-loved dwelling place;
Why should I ever weary for aught that I find not here?

Here for the hours of the day and the hours of the night;
Bound with the bands of Duty, rivetted tight;
Duty older than Adam — Duty that saw
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The Little Vagabond by William Blake
William Blake
Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm;
Besides I can tell where I am use'd well,
Such usage in heaven will never do well.

But if at the Church they would give us some Ale.
And a pleasant fire, our souls to regale;
We'd sing and we'd pray, all the live-long day;
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray,

Then the Parson might preach & drink & sing.
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring:
And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
Would not have bandy children nor fasting nor birch.

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"Mary had a little lamb," by Sarah Josepha Hale
Sarah Josepha Hale
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day,
Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.
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My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

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On the Seashore by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.
They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.
They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.
The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby's cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.
On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.

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A Postcard from the Volcano by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
Children picking up our bones
Will never know that these were once
As quick as foxes on the hill;

And that in autumn, when the grapes
Made sharp air sharper by their smell
These had a being, breathing frost;

And least will guess that with our bones
We left much more, left what still is
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Theme in Yellow by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
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They Will Say by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
OF my city the worst that men will ever say is this:
You took little children away from the sun and the dew,
And the glimmers that played in the grass under the great sky,
And the reckless rain; you put them between walls
To work, broken and smothered, for bread and wages,
To eat dust in their throats and die empty-hearted
For a little handful of pay on a few Saturday nights.

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Washington McNeely by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Rich, honored by my fellow citizens,
The father of many children, born of a noble mother,
All raised there
In the great mansion-house, at the edge of town.
Note the cedar tree on the lawn!
I sent all the boys to Ann Arbor, all the girls to Rockford,
The while my life went on, getting more riches and honors—
Resting under my cedar tree at evening.
The years went on.
I sent the girls to Europe;
I dowered them when married.
I gave the boys money to start in business.
They were strong children, promising as apples
Before the bitten places show.
But John fled the country in disgrace.
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Dismantling the House by Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn
Rent a flatbed with a winch.
With the right leverage
anything can be hoisted, driven off.

Or the man with a Bobcat comes in,
then the hauler with his enormous truck.
A leveler or a lawyer does the rest;

experts always are willing to help.
The structure was old, rotten in spots.
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