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Best Famous Childhood Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Childhood poems. This is a select list of the best famous Childhood poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Childhood poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of childhood poems.

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by Philip Larkin | |

Triple Time

 This empty street, this sky to blandness scoured,
This air, a little indistinct with autumn
Like a reflection, constitute the present --
A time traditionally soured,
A time unrecommended by event.
But equally they make up something else: This is the furthest future childhood saw Between long houses, under travelling skies, Heard in contending bells -- An air lambent with adult enterprise, And on another day will be the past, A valley cropped by fat neglected chances That we insensately forbore to fleece.
On this we blame our last Threadbare perspectives, seasonal decrease.


by William Lisle Bowles | |

XI. Written at Ostend

 HOW sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal! 
As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze 
Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease, 
So piercing to my heart their force I feel! 
And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall, 
And now, along the white and level tide, 
They fling their melancholy music wide, 
Bidding me many a tender thought recall 
Of summer-days, and those delightful years, 
When by my native streams, in life's fair prime, 
The mournful magic of their mingling chime 
First wak'd my wond'ring childhood into tears! 
But seeming now, when all those days are o'er, 
The sounds of joy, once heard, and heard no more.


by William Lisle Bowles | |

Sonnet: At Ostend July 22nd 1787

 How sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal!
As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze
Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease,
So piercing to my heart their force I feel!
And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall,
And now, along the white and level tide,
They fling their melancholy music wide,
Bidding me many a tender thought recall
Of summer-days, and those delightful years
When by my native streams, in life's fair prime,
The mournful magic of their mingling chime
First waked my wond'ring childhood into tears;— 
But seeming now, when all those days are o'er,
The sounds of joy, once heard, and heard no more.


by George William Russell | |

Inheritance

 AS flow the rivers to the sea
Adown from rocky hill or plain,
A thousand ages toiled for thee
And gave thee harvest of their gain;
And weary myriads of yore
Dug out for thee earth’s buried ore.
The shadowy toilers for thee fought In chaos of primeval day Blind battles with they knew not what; And each before he passed away Gave clear articulate cries of woe: Your pain is theirs of long ago.
And all the old heart sweetness sung, The joyous life of man and maid In forests when the earth was young, In rumours round your childhood strayed: The careless sweetness of your mind Comes from the buried years behind.
And not alone unto your birth Their gifts the weeping ages bore, The old descents of God on earth Have dowered thee with celestial lore: So, wise, and filled with sad and gay You pass unto the further day.


by George William Russell | |

Affinity

 YOU and I have found the secret way,
None can bar our love or say us nay:
All the world may stare and never know
You and I are twined together so.
You and I for all his vaunted width Know the giant Space is but a myth; Over miles and miles of pure deceit You and I have found our lips can meet.
You and I have laughed the leagues apart In the soft delight of heart to heart.
If there’s a gulf to meet or limit set, You and I have never found it yet.
You and I have trod the backward way To the happy heart of yesterday, To the love we felt in ages past.
You and I have found it still to last.
You and I have found the joy had birth In the angel childhood of the earth, Hid within the heart of man and maid.
You and I of Time are not afraid.
You and I can mock his fabled wing, For a kiss is an immortal thing.
And the throb wherein those old lips met Is a living music in us yet.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Discord in Childhood

 Outside the house an ash-tree hung its terrible whips,
And at night when the wind arose, the lash of the tree 
Shrieked and slashed the wind, as a ship’s 
Weird rigging in a storm shrieks hideously.
Within the house two voices arose in anger, a slender lash Whistling delirious rage, and the dreadful sound Of a thick lash booming and bruising, until it drowned The other voice in a silence of blood, ’neath the noise of the ash.


by Rainer Maria Rilke | |

Before Summer Rain

Suddenly from all the green around you
something-you don't know what-has disappeared;
you feel it creeping closer to the window
in total silence.
From the nearby wood you hear the urgent whistling of a plover reminding you of someone's Saint Jerome: so much solitude and passion come from that one voice whose fierce request the downpour will grant.
The walls with their ancient portraits glide away from us cautiously as though they weren't supposed to hear what we are saying.
And reflected on the faded tapestries now: the chill uncertain sunlight of those long childhood hours when you were so afraid.


by Rainer Maria Rilke | |

Childhood

 HOW I could see through and through you!
So unconscious, tender, kind,
More than ever was known to you
Of the pure ways of your mind.
We who long to rest from strife Labour sternly as a duty; But a magic in your life Charms, unknowing of its beauty.
We are pools whose depths are told; You are like a mystic fountain, Issuing ever pure and cold From the hollows of the mountain.
We are men by anguish taught To distinguish false from true; Higher wisdom we have not; But a joy within guides you.


by Rainer Maria Rilke | |

Childhood

 It would be good to give much thought, before
you try to find words for something so lost,
for those long childhood afternoons you knew
that vanished so completely --and why?

We're still reminded--: sometimes by a rain,
but we can no longer say what it means;
life was never again so filled with meeting,
with reunion and with passing on

as back then, when nothing happened to us
except what happens to things and creatures:
we lived their world as something human,
and became filled to the brim with figures.
And became as lonely as a sheperd and as overburdened by vast distances, and summoned and stirred as from far away, and slowly, like a long new thread, introduced into that picture-sequence where now having to go on bewilders us.


by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

The Seeker

 I sought for my happiness over the world,
Oh, eager and far was my quest;
I sought it on mountain and desert and sea,
I asked it of east and of west.
I sought it in beautiful cities of men, On shores that were sunny and blue, And laughter and lyric and pleasure were mine In palaces wondrous to view; Oh, the world gave me much to my plea and my prayer But never I found aught of happiness there! Then I took my way back to a valley of old And a little brown house by a rill, Where the winds piped all day in the sentinel firs That guarded the crest of the hill; I went by the path that my childhood had known Through the bracken and up by the glen, And I paused at the gate of the garden to drink The scent of sweet-briar again; The homelight shone out through the dusk as of yore And happiness waited for me at the door!


by Walter de la Mare | |

The Remonstrance

 I was at peace until you came 
And set a careless mind aflame; 
I lived in quiet; cold, content; 
All longing in safe banishment, 
Until your ghostly lips and eyes 
Made wisdom unwise.
Naught was in me to tempt your feet To seek a lodging.
Quite forgot Lay the sweet solitude we two In childhood used to wander through; Time's cold had closed my heart about, And shut you out.
Well, and what then? .
.
.
O vision grave, Take all the little all I have! Strip me of what in voiceless throught Life's kept of life, unhoped, unsought! -- Reverie and dream that memory must Hide deep in dust! This only I say: Though cold and bare, The haunted house you have chosen to share, Still 'neath its walls the moonbeam goes And trembles on the untended rose; Still o'er its broken roof-tree rise The starry arches of the skies; And 'neath your lightest word shall be The thunder of an ebbing sea.


by A S J Tessimond | |

Any Man Speaks

 I, after difficult entry through my mother's blood
And stumbling childhood (hitting my head against the world);
I, intricate, easily unshipped, untracked, unaligned;
Cut off in my communications; stammering; speaking
A dialect shared by you, but not you and you;
I, strangely undeft, bereft; I searching always
For my lost rib (clothed in laughter yet understanding)
To come round the corner of Wardour Street into the Square
Or to signal across the Park and share my bed;
I, focus in night for star-sent beams of light,
I, fulcrum of levers whose end I cannot see .
.
.
Have this one deftness - that I admit undeftness: Know that the stars are far, the levers long: Can understand my unstrength.


by A S J Tessimond | |

Last Word To Childhood

 Ice-cold fear has slowly decreased
As my bones have grown, my height increased.
Though I shiver in snow of dreams, I shall never Freeze again in a noonday terror.
I shall never break, my sinews crumble As God-the-headmaster's fingers fumble At the other side of unopening doors Which I watch for a hundred thousand years.
I shall never feel my thin blood leak While darkness stretches a paw to strike Or Nothing beats an approaching drum Behind my back in a silent room.
I shall never, alone, meet the end of my world At the bend of a path, the turn of a wall: Never, or once more only, and That will be once and an end of end.


by Lam Quang My | |

New Year’s Night

The lightening tears the night – thunder rolls 
Bans all coldness from the room
The smell of incense calls to childhood
Pulsating fire recalls the word “Mammy!”


by Donald Justice | |

Absences

 It's snowing this afternoon and there are no flowers.
There is only this sound of falling, quiet and remote, Like the memory of scales descending the white keys Of a childhood piano--outside the window, palms! And the heavy head of the cereus, inclining, Soon to let down its white or yellow-white.
Now, only these poor snow-flowers in a heap, Like the memory of a white dress cast down .
.
.
So much has fallen.
And I, who have listened for a step All afternoon, hear it now, but already falling away, Already in memory.
And the terrible scales descending On the silent piano; the snow; and the absent flowers abounding.


by Donald Justice | |

On The Death Of Friends In Childhood

 We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.


by Charles Kingsley | |

A Farewell

 I GO down from the hills half in gladness, and half with a pain I depart,
Where the Mother with gentlest breathing made music on lip and in heart;
For I know that my childhood is over: a call comes out of the vast,
And the love that I had in the old time, like beauty in twilight, is past.
I am fired by a Danaan whisper of battles afar in the world, And my thought is no longer of peace, for the banners in dream are unfurled, And I pass from the council of stars and of hills to a life that is new: And I bid to you stars and you mountains a tremulous long adieu.
I will come once again as a master, who played here as child in my dawn I will enter the heart of the hills where the gods of the old world are gone.
And will war like the bright Hound of Ulla with princes of earth and of sky.
For my dream is to conquer the heavens and battle for kingship on high.


by Pablo Neruda | |

The White Mans Burden

 Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.
Something from far off it seemed deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth, a shout muffled by huge autumns, by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.
Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance climbed up through my conscious mind as if suddenly the roots I had left behind cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood--- and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

To Wordsworth

 Poet of Nature, thou hast wept to know 
That things depart which never may return: 
Childhood and youth, friendship and love's first glow, 
Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee to mourn.
These common woes I feel.
One loss is mine Which thou too feel'st, yet I alone deplore.
Thou wert as a lone star, whose light did shine On some frail bark in winter's midnight roar: Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood Above the blind and battling multitude: In honored poverty thy voice did weave Songs consecrate to truth and liberty,-- Deserting these, thou leavest me to grieve, Thus having been, that thou shouldst cease to be.


by Louise Gluck | |

The Pond

 Night covers the pond with its wing.
Under the ringed moon I can make out your face swimming among minnows and the small echoing stars.
In the night air the surface of the pond is metal.
Within, your eyes are open.
They contain a memory I recognize, as though we had been children together.
Our ponies grazed on the hill, they were gray with white markings.
Now they graze with the dead who wait like children under their granite breastplates, lucid and helpless: The hills are far away.
They rise up blacker than childhood.
What do you think of, lying so quietly by the water? When you look that way I want to touch you, but do not, seeing as in another life we were of the same blood.


by Louise Gluck | |

First Memory

 Long ago, I was wounded.
I lived to revenge myself against my father, not for what he was-- for what I was: from the beginning of time, in childhood, I thought that pain meant I was not loved.
It meant I loved.


by Louise Gluck | |

Midnight

 Speak to me, aching heart: what
Ridiculous errand are you inventing for yourself
Weeping in the dark garage
With your sack of garbage: it is not your job
To take out the garbage, it is your job
To empty the dishwasher.
You are showing off Again, Exactly as you did in childhood--where Is your sporting side, your famous Ironic detachment? A little moonlight hits The broken window, a little summer moonlight, Tender Murmurs from the earth with its ready Sweetnesses-- Is this the way you communicate With your husband, not answering When he calls, or is this the way the heart Behaves when it grieves: it wants to be Alone with the garbage? If I were you, I'd think ahead.
After fifteen years, His voice could be getting tired; some night If you don't answer, someone else will answer.


by Louise Gluck | |

Nostos

 There was an apple tree in the yard --
this would have been
forty years ago -- behind,
only meadows.
Drifts of crocus in the damp grass.
I stood at that window: late April.
Spring flowers in the neighbor's yard.
How many times, really, did the tree flower on my birthday, the exact day, not before, not after? Substitution of the immutable for the shifting, the evolving.
Substitution of the image for relentless earth.
What do I know of this place, the role of the tree for decades taken by a bonsai, voices rising from the tennis courts -- Fields.
Smell of the tall grass, new cut.
As one expects of a lyric poet.
We look at the world once, in childhood.
The rest is memory.


by Kimiko Hahn | |

In Childhood

 things don't die or remain damaged 
but return: stumps grow back hands, 
a head reconnects to a neck, 
a whole corpse rises blushing and newly elastic.
Later this vision is not True: the grandmother remains dead not hibernating in a wolf's belly.
Or the blue parakeet does not return from the little grave in the fern garden though one may wake in the morning thinking mother's call is the bird.
Or maybe the bird is with grandmother inside light.
Or grandmother was the bird and is now the dog gnawing on the chair leg.
Where do the gone things go when the child is old enough to walk herself to school, her playmates already pumping so high the swing hiccups?


by Robert Hayden | |

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)

 O masks and metamorphoses of Ahab, Native Son

I

The icy evil that struck his father down
and ravished his mother into madness
trapped him in violence of a punished self
struggling to break free.
As Home Boy, as Dee-troit Red, he fled his name, became the quarry of his own obsessed pursuit.
He conked his hair and Lindy-hopped, zoot-suited jiver, swinging those chicks in the hot rose and reefer glow.
His injured childhood bullied him.
He skirmished in the Upas trees and cannibal flowers of the American Dream-- but could not hurt the enemy powered against him there.