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Looking for "On A Child Who Lived One Minute"
Posted by: sabpadilla (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: June 15, 2003 11:08PM

I am looking for a poem, I know it is by someone quite well known, I remember it from high school days (over a decade ago), does anyone know what I am talking about? THANKS!!


Re: Looking for "On A Child Who Lived One Minute"
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: June 16, 2003 05:20AM

Not sure, but there's one, I think, by X.J.Kennedy- certainly very similar: can't remember where I came across it though.


Re: Looking for "On A Child Who Lived One Minute"
Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: June 16, 2003 06:55AM

RJ is right :

A poem by X. J. Kennedy:

On a Child Who Lived One Minute

Into a world where children shriek like suns
Sundered from other suns on their arrival,
She stared, and saw the waiting shape of evil,
But couldn't take its meaning in at once,
So fresh her understanding, and so fragile.

Her first breath drew a fragrance from the air
And put it back. However hard her agile
Heart danced, however full the surgeon's satchel
Of healing stuff, a blackness tiptoed in her
And snuffed the only candle of her castle.

Oh, let us do away with elegiac
Drivel! How can restore a thing so brittle,
So new in any jingle? Still I marvel
That, making light of mountainloads of logic,
So much could stay a moment in so little.


Re: Looking for "On A Child Who Lived One Minute"
Posted by: JP (---.tnt1.rochelle.il.da.uu.net)
Date: June 16, 2003 08:13AM

Reminded me of this one Stephen posted some time ago.

Death of a Son

(who died in a mental hospital aged one)

Something has ceased to come along with me.
Something like a person: something very like one.
And there was no nobility in it
Or anything like that.

Something there was like a one year
Old house, dumb as stone. While the near buildings
Sang like birds and laughed
Understanding the pact

They were to have with silence. But he
Neither sang nor laughed. He did not bless silence
Like bread, with words.
He did not forsake silence.

But rather, like a house in mourning
Kept the eye turned in to watch the silence while
The other houses like birds
Sang around him.

And the breathing silence neither
Moved nor was still.

I have seen stones: I have seen brick
But this house was made up of neither bricks nor stone
But a house of flesh and blood
With flesh of stone

And bricks for blood. A house
Of stones and blood in breathing silence with the other
Birds singing crazy on its chimneys.
But this was silence,

This was something else, this was
Hearing and speaking though he was a house drawn
Into silence, this was
Something religious in his silence,

Something shining in his quiet,
This was different this was altogether something else:
Though he never spoke, this
Was something to do with death.

And then slowly the eye stopped looking
Inward. The silence rose and became still.
The look turned to the outer place and stopped,
With the birds still shrilling around him.
And as if he could speak

He turned over on his side with his one year
Red as a wound
He turned over as if he could be sorry for this
And out of his eyes two great tears rolled like stones,
and he died.


Jon Silkin


Re: Looking for "On A Child Who Lived One Minute"
Posted by: StephenFryer (---.bbd01tcl.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: June 16, 2003 08:55AM

Ah JP, that poem again. If Jon Silkin wrote nothing else, he is forever in my heart with that one poem.

Stephen


Mr Silkin
Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: June 16, 2003 03:10PM

but he did ... a lot
( but maybe not as beautiful ? )
.
[www.people.vcu.edu]


Re: Looking for "On A Child Who Lived One Minute"
Posted by: sabpadilla (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: June 18, 2003 12:59PM

Thank you all very much - I appreciate it deeply, because I know exactly how Kennedy was feeling when this was written. Thanks again.


Re: Looking for "On A Child Who Lived One Minute"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.phoenix-04rh15rt-az.dial-access.att.net)
Date: June 19, 2003 12:35PM


Reminds me of this one, but I do not know the author:


EPITAPH ON A CHILD'S GRAVE

If I am so quickly done for
What on earth was I begun for?




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