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Famous Childhood Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Childhood poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous childhood poems. These examples illustrate what a famous childhood poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Neruda, Pablo
...a lighthouse.

Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.

Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song t...Read More

by Aldington, Richard

The bitterness. the misery, the wretchedness of childhood 
Put me out of love with God. 
I can't believe in God's goodness; 
I can believe 
In many avenging gods. 
Most of all I believe 
In gods of bitter dullness, 
Cruel local gods 
Who scared my childhood. 


I've seen people put 
A chrysalis in a match-box, 
"To see," they told me, "what sort of moth would come." 
But when it broke ...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...not sing as we did—
It was a different tune—
Herself to her a music
As Bumble bee of June.

Today is far from Childhood—
But up and down the hills
I held her hand the tighter—
Which shortened all the miles—

And still her hum
The years among,
Deceives the Butterfly;
Still in her Eye
The Violets lie
Mouldered this many May.

I spilt the dew—
But took the morn—
I chose this single star
From out the wide night's numbers—


Su...Read More

by Tate, James
...of your life, flustering
nothing from nothing and back again.
The hereafter may not last all that long.
Radiant childhood sweetheart,
secret code of everlasting joy and sorrow, 
fanciful pen strokes beneath the eyelids:
all day, all night meditation, knot of hope,
kernel of desire, pure ordinariness of life 
seeking, through poetry, a benediction
or a bed to lie down on, to connect, reveal,
explore, to imbue meaning on the day's extravagant labor. 
And yet it's cr...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...craft of the smith been held in repute by the people.
Basil was Benedict's friend. Their children from earliest childhood
Grew up together as brother and sister; and Father Felician,
Priest and pedagogue both in the village, had taught them their letters
Out of the selfsame book, with the hymns of the church and the plain-song.
But when the hymn was sung, and the daily lesson completed,
Swiftly they hurried away to the forge of Basil the blacksmith.
There at t...Read More

by Frost, Robert
If she could form some notion of her mother—
What she bad thought was lovely, and what good.
This was her mother's childhood home;
The house one story high in front, three stories
On the end it presented to the road.
(The arrangement made a pleasant sunny cellar.)
Her mother's bedroom was her father's still,
Where she could watch her mother's picture fading.
Once she found for a bookmark in the Bible
A maple leaf she thought must have been laid
In wait for he...Read More

by Kendall, Henry departed life-dreams dwell, 
There the faces beam with gladness that I loved in youth so well; 
There the songs of childhood travel, over wave-worn steep and strand - 
Over dale and upland stretching out behind this mountain land. 

``Lovely Being, can a mortal, weary of this changeless scene, 

Cross these cloudy summits to the land where man hath never been? 
Can he find a pathway leading through that wildering mass of pines, 
So that he shall reach the countr...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
...g to my soul, as mother to her child.


O lead me by the hand,
And let my heart have rest,
And bring me back to childhood land,
To find again the long-lost band
Of playmates blithe and blest.

Some quaint, old-fashioned air,
That all the children knew,
Shall run before us everywhere,
Like a little maid with flying hair,
To guide the merry crew.

Along the garden ways
We chase the light-foot tune,
And in and out the flowery maze,
With eager haste and fond delay...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...or our slang.
These days language seems transparent a badly broken code.

The 1790's will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

I am very fond of the period between 18...Read More

by Berman, David
...when I am stuck
though the outdoors has rarely inspired me to write
and I don't know why I keep staring at it.

My childhood hasn't made good material either
mostly being a mulch of white minutes
with a few stand out moments,
popping tar bubbles on the driveway in the summer
a certain amount of pride at school
everytime they called it "our sun"
and playing football when the only play
was "go out long" are what stand out now.

If squeezed for more information
I can re...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
And paints the lost on Earth revived in Heaven; 
Soft, as the memory of buried love; 
Pure as the prayer which Childhood wafts above, 
Was she — the daughter of that rude old Chief, 
Who met the maid with tears — but not of grief. 

Who hath not proved how feebly words essay 
To fix one spark of Beauty's heavenly ray? 
Who doth not feel, until his failing sight 
Faints into dimness with its own delight, 
His changing cheek, his sinking heart confess 
The might — ...Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
...arted: 50 
Because the garden was deserted, 
The blither place for me! 

Friends, blame me not! a narrow ken 
Hath childhood 'twixt the sun and sward: 
We draw the moral afterward¡ª 55 
We feel the gladness then. 

And gladdest hours for me did glide 
In silence at the rose-tree wall: 
A thrush made gladness musical 
Upon the other side. 60 

Nor he nor I did e'er incline 
To peck or pluck the blossoms white:¡ª 
How should I know but that they might 
...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...w moon-beam! Well—  It is a father's tale. But if that Heaven  Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up  Familiar with these songs, that with the night  He may associate Joy! Once more farewell,  Sweet Nightingale! once more, my friends! farewell. LINES  Written when sailing in a Boat At EVENING.   How rich the wave, in front, imprest&...Read More

by Bradstreet, Anne
...1.1 Lo now! four other acts upon the stage,
1.2 Childhood, and Youth, the Manly, and Old-age.
1.3 The first: son unto Phlegm, grand-child to water,
1.4 Unstable, supple, moist, and cold's his Nature.
1.5 The second: frolic claims his pedigree;
1.6 From blood and air, for hot and moist is he.
1.7 The third of fire and choler is compos'd,
1.8 Vindicative, and quarrelsome ...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...t stings--
Once dwelt within the gate that angels guard,
Where yet I'd be had I but heavenly wings. 

When I see childhood on the threshold seize
The prize of life from age and likelihood,
I mourn time's change that will not be withstood,
Thinking how Christ said Be like one of these.
For in the forest among many trees
Scarce one in all is found that hath made good
The virgin pattern of its slender wood,
That courtesied in joy to every breeze; 
But scath'd, but kno...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...anger was near:
The Beaver turned pale to the tip of its tail,
 And even the Butcher felt *****.

He thought of his childhood, left far far behind--
 That blissful and innocent state--
The sound so exactly recalled to his mind
 A pencil that squeaks on a slate!

"'Tis the voice of the Jubjub!" he suddenly cried.
 (This man, that they used to call "Dunce.")
"As the Bellman would tell you," he added with pride,
 "I have uttered that sentiment once.

"'Tis the no...Read More

by Levine, Philip
...who I was and what I 
 did, touching my face for fear 
 I was another inside 

 my head I played back pictures 
 of my childhood, of my wife 
 even, for it was in her 
 I found myself beaten, safe, 
 and furthest from the present. 
 It is her face I see now 
 though all I say is meant 
 for you, her face in the slow 

 agony of sexual 
 release. I cannot see you. 
 The dark wall ribbed with spittle 
 on which I play my childhood 
 brings me to this bed, mastered ...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...dark or by the breath of the midnight sea on Brighton beach.

You made the rat return so I could face it, retracing childhood’s

Nightmare footsteps while you recalled the terror of countless

Nights and days until I understood the meaning of our parted ways.


If only we could go back to the cottage on the hill at Honley

Where the road sweeps gently under the bridge where trains never ran

Our voices still echoing round the cavernous walls the smooth moss cl...Read More

by Strand, Mark
This morning after you fell back to sleep
I began to turn the pages early in the book:
it was like dreaming of childhood,
so much seemed to vanish,
so much seemed to come to life again.
I did not know what to do.
The book said: "In those moments it was his book.
A bleak crown rested uneasily on his head.
He was the brief ruler of inner and outer discord,
anxious in his own kingdom."

Before you woke
I read another part that described your absenc...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...many years
But I am glad of you still.

Come and sit right next to me,
With the happy eyes come look:
Here, my childhood poetry
Is in this blue notebook.

That I lived sorrowful and little
Was I glad of the sun, forgive.
And forgive, that in your stead I
Many others did receive.

x x x

Whether to look for you on earth --
I don't know if you're dead or you live --
Or about you in the evening
I should for you, departed, grieve.

Al...Read More

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