“Childhood” by Richard Aldington


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:



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