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 seared 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 its shell
It slipped and stumbled and fell about its prison
And tried to climb to the light
For space to dry its wings.
[ . . . ]
Richard Aldington's poem "Childhood" was published in the 1915 Some Imagist Poets anthology. To read this poem in full in a digitized version of this publication, follow the link(s) below: