Poem: ‘Don’t let the Child out’

I was watching a film the other day.  There was a burial scene.  These words were spoken as the ashes were sprinkled.  They’re from The First epistle of  Paul to the Corinthians, Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, verse 11

When I was a child, I spake as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man, I put away
childish things. For now we see through a
glass, darkly; but then face to face: now
I know in part; but then shall I know even
as also I am known.

It got me thinking about what is childish and what isn’t.  As we get older we are expected to behave in an adult way of course, but our emotions can still be child like.  We know this, so have to suppress them.  We are encouraged from time to time not to take ourselves too seriously and to be more childlike (but not too much..)   This poem is about this suppression:-

Don’t Let the Child out

Freeze up the feelings to stop the drip dripping,

Filter the words and stop them from slipping

Bite back the anger that’s burning inside

Bury emotions you’re trying to hide. 

Lie to yourself and pretend you don’t care

Dodge from the spotlight of life’s tragic stare.

Just rise above it – prove you are better

Follow this formula down to the letter 

Only wear adult size stiff upper lip

Try to be sensible – don’t let this slip

Even when really you just want to shout

Stop all from seeing you let the child out.

© Lynda M Roberts 2010

Image by the imaginative children’s photographer Ann Geddes.  This image here

4 thoughts on “Poem: ‘Don’t let the Child out’

  1. The slip of a stiff upper lip… amazing ideas when lines combine. The poem is wise, well written—and fitting that the epistle is from a burial scene.

  2. I woonder sometimes if we should let the child out…just long enough to breathe and to help maintain a healthy mental balance. 🙂 Enjoyed your poem.

  3. Thanks slpmartin 🙂 yes, ‘balance’ should be the order of the day – but it’s so hard to maintain:)
    Thanks for stopping by appreciated.

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