The Picture of little T. C. in a Prospect of Flowers, by Andrew Marvell

Trent Gudmundsen - Spring Morning
Trent Gudmundsen – Spring Morning

The English poet Andrew Marvell (1621–1678) lived through several political regimes, and could adapt to each one. He started his career under the Stuart Monarchy, then visited Europe during the Civil War; afterwards he returned to England and held official positions during the republican Commonwealth, finally he served as Member of Parliament during the monarchic Restoration. He could do this by writing complex and sometimes ambiguous poetry, which could be interpreted in several ways. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

After Many Years, by Ernest Dowson

Post mortem photograph
Post mortem photograph – from VK

Here is a strange and beautiful poem about a dead child. The poet remembers lulling her to sleep several years ago, but now the coldness of her death seems unreal, so he wonders whether it is a dream or he is himself dead. The strangeness of the poem, with its doubts about the boundaries between reality and dream, between the living and the dead, is emphasised by the tortured indentation of its lines. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Who loves working class children?

Lewis Hine - Little Lottie
Lewis Hine – Little Lottie, a regular oyster shucker in Alabama Canning Co. She speaks no English. Note the condition of her shoes caused by standing on the rough shells so much. A common sight. Bayou La Batre, Ala. (22 February 1911) – from National Archives (Identifier 523398), via Wikimedia Commons

One seldom finds persons who really love all children. Most people show themselves selective in their affection, while some don’t like children at all. Usually it is a family affair, one loves one’s own children, but not those of other people, and this attitude gets a wide support in society, since children are implicitly considered as their parents’ property, and too much love for other people’s children is seen with suspicion. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Young Love, by Andrew Marvell

Joshua Reynolds -The Age of Innocence
Joshua Reynolds -The Age of Innocence – Tate N00307, via Wikimedia Commons

Andrew Marvell (1621–1678) is considered one of the greatest English poets of the seventeenth century. Beside lyric poetry, he wrote political satire, both in verse and in prose, lampooning his contemporaries for their corruption and hypocrisy; most of it was published anonymously, to avoid repression. After his death, many anonymous texts were attributed to him and collected for publication. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Maistresse, embrasse moy, par Pierre de Ronsard

Jana Brike - Sketchbook
Jana Brike – Sketchbook

Hélène de Fonsèque (1545–1618), fille de René de Fonsèque, baron de Surgères, et d’Anne de Cossé, entra au service de la reine Catherine de Medicis en 1566 en tant que fille d’honneur, puis fille de chambre de la reine de 1567 à 1578. Elle rencontra Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585) en 1568. Le poète, âgé de 44 ans, tomba amoureux de cette jeune femme de 23 ans, qui fut sa muse jusqu’en 1574. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

It is finished, by Ernest Dowson

Post mortem of a young girl lying on a blanket
Post mortem of a young girl lying on a blanket – from user oakenroad on Flickr

Dowson wrote several poems about the death of a child. The best known one is probably “The Dead Child “in the volume Decorations published in 1899. In it, the poet wishes to be dead, to share the child’s rest.

The following poem comes from his collection Poésie Schublade (“Drawer Poetry”), which was published only posthumously. It was probably written in the middle 1880’s. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Kids have gifts—when one trusts them

Russian TV - Bella Devyatkina
Russian TV – Bella Devyatkina

All too often, adults think that children by their nature should do childish things and be left in their childish world, rather than imitating adults and their activities; this is the motto “let kids be kids.” Thus they are left in ignorance of what one considers as “beyond their age,” and if they show too much interest in such “beyond” things and inquire too much about them, they will be answered “don’t touch,” “stay away,” “this is not of your age,” “you are too young for that” or “anyway you can’t understand.” This makes future adults who will be ignorant, backward, immature and dependent on authority. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…