Backward, flow backward, O full tide of years! I am so weary of toil and of tears, Toil without recompense tears all in vain, Take them and give me my childhood again. I have grown weary of dust and decay, Weary of flinging my heart's wealth away Weary of sowing for others to reap; Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep.A. M. W. Ball, Rock me to Sleep, Mother. Attributed to Elizabeth Akers Allen. See Northern Monthly, Volume II. 1868. Pub. by Allen line Bassett, Newark, N. J. Appendix to March, Volume II. 1868. Ball shows proof that he wrote it in 1856–7. Produces witness who saw it before 1860. Mrs. Allen says she wrote it in Italy, 1860. It was published in The Knickerbocker Magazine, May, 1861.
Do you know anyone who wouldsecretly, sincerely, in his innermost selfreally prefer to return to childhood?1980 The Clear Light of Day, ch.1.
If I could only live at the pitch that is near madness When everything is as it was in my childhood Violent, vivid and of infinite possibility.1947 'If I Could Only Live at the Pitch That Is Near Madness'.
Anyone who has read Yeats’s wonderful Autobiography will remember his Sligo shabby, shadowed, half country and half sea, full of confused romance, superstition, poverty, eccentricity, unrecognized anachronism, passion and ignorance and the little boy’s misery. Yeats was treated well but was bitterly unhappy; he prayed that he would die, and used often to say to himself: “When you are grown up, never talk as grown-up people do of the happiness of childhood.”Randall Jarrell
Ich habe um meine Kindheit gebeten, und sie ist wiedergekommen, und ich fu« hle, dass sie immer noch so schwer ist wie damals, und dass es nichts genu« tzt hat, a« lter zu werden. I prayed to rediscover my childhood, and it has come back, and I feel that it is just as difficult as it used to be, and that growing older has served no purpose at all. 687Rainer Maria Rilke
But this, this which we say before we’re sorry,This which we live behind our unseen faces,Is neither dream, nor childhood, neitherMyth, nor landscape, final, nor finished,For we are incomplete and know no future,And we are howling or dancing out our soulsIn beating syllables before the curtain:We are Shakespearean, we are strangers.delmore schwartz
Whatever I learned,Whatever I knew,Seems like those faded years of childhood that flew,Away in some dilemma,Always in some confusion,The purpose of this life,Seems like an illusion!Mehek Bassi, in Unveiling Our Illusion: New Moon/ Solar Eclipse, 29 April 2014
Richard Chase declares, "No great poet has written so much bad verse as Emily Dickinson." He blames the Victorian cult of little women for the fact that "two thirds of her work" is seriously flawed: "Her coy and oddly childish poems of nature and female friendship are products of a time when one of the careers open to women was perpetual childhood." Dickinson's sentimental feminine poems remain neglected by embarrassed scholars. I would maintain, however, that her poetry is a closed system of sexual reference and that the mawkish poems are designed to dovetail with those of violence and suffering.p. 637 (Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990))
The little world of childhood with its familiar surroundings is a model of the greater world . The more intensively the family has stamped its character upon the child, the more it will tend to feel and see its earlier miniature world again in the bigger world of adult life. Naturally this is not a conscious, intellectual process.carl jung
It would be futile to deny that the Nazis built a vast mass of evil on a vast mass of prejudice. It would be equally futile to deny that strong prejudices against the Jews existed among Christians during the centuries before the Shoah. Since, moreover, the childhood of the European nations was passed under the tutelage of the clergy, we should not be surprised that these prejudices were, in part, ecclesiastically inculcated.Mark Riebling, "Jesus, Jews and the Shoah" (2003)
Since my earliest childhood a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic if it is pulled out I shall die.Søren Kierkegaard, Journal entry (1847)
A happy childhood can't be cured. Mine'll hang around my neck like a rainbow, that's all, instead of a noose.Hortense Calisher, Queenie, 1971.
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