The Lost Child (Poetry Challenge)
The lost child
I see a child, not forgotten, but lost
Deep in the mists of time.
A child with serious eyes, a thinker.
A quiet child?
Quiet as a storm on a Summer afternoon!
A composer of first-class songs, the libretto of her life, sung sotto voce, as she goes about her business.
Grubby, chubby fingers probing everything, eager to learn, sure that she is the first to learn these wonders – a pioneer.
Where did she go, this girl so certain, so confident?
She was a princess, a pirate, an adventuress, always successful and always the hero.
Secure in the love of those around her, who told her it was so.
© ellieg 2023
I don’t recognize the child is it a famous person? this has great potential, but in my opinion needs to be laboriously rephrased in some parts without necessarily changing many or any words just simply to be placed later or earlier than where they’re right now.
It would be helpful if I knew who the child is, and if famous read about her life.
Very glad I read such a promising poem for a challenge on UKA. Feels as if we are slowly getting back our mojo today and that’s nice.
sorry IYP, not someone famous.. It was a very tattered picture I found inside my dad’s wallet when he died.
okay i have to read it as an autobiographical poem too.
you can certainly do more than I thought then, i think you have a good poem to fiddle with for years and that’s really amazing, few of my poems had this “work in progress” quality – editing a poem like yours is like growing a bonsai !
it’s already beautiful and it has the perfect gardener tending to its natural beauty, you!
I’m stunned and delighted by your response IYP. As you know, I’m very new to writing poetry, but I’m loving discovering more about the infinite possibilities of words. Thank you.
Quick note, Ellie. Don’t think others are recognizing your poem as a challenge entry. Suggest you write (poetry challenge) next to your title. I just made room for the inclusion on mine, too. This was always the way we used to id ourselves as entrants, until Richard recently made special categories for both challenges. I’m finding people are not first checking those special categories though, from what I can see. One of the several front page problems! Have thought lots about your piece, but too exhausted to focus right now. Very late here and must be up and out early.… Read more »
Thank you for taking the trouble to tell me this, Bel..These tips are invaluable to me.
Your title aroused some expectation in me for something to be missing or lost to the speaker during childhood, a wistfulness, perhaps deep sadness over what precipitated such loss. I’ve written a poem of that nature myself in the past – and coincidently it was in response to a challenge on another site! But so much for my perspective on life; I was wrong in these expectations. Line by line you reveal a spunky, not to be held down girl child who is bursting with energetic curiosity and a boundless confidence in herself, grubby fingers and all. And what a… Read more »
Thank you Bel, I am, as always, delighted to have your input. I’m discovering the joys of attempting to write poetry, and I confess I took less than half an hour to write this. The picture evoked so many memories, and as both you and IYP observed, there is certainly room to expand and improve it. As a far better poet than I could ever dream of being said, “The child is father (or in this case, mother) of the man(or woman)” and I was incredibly lucky to have parents, who supported and loved me unconditionally, even though I must… Read more »
“The child is father (or in this case, mother) of the man(or woman)” and I was incredibly lucky to have parents, who supported and loved me unconditionally,
Yes, the heart of your poem, isn’t it? But I’d never thought of looking at our upbringing in that way. A different ( and enlightening) perspective. Who wrote that? Confess I have no idea!
It was Wordsworth, Bel.
The child in the picture seems to be very determined and has a fearless quality about her. Your poetry reflects those qualities in its determination to be fearlessly expressive in bringing a lost child to life through words. The two middle lines beginning with ‘A composer of first class songs…’ and ‘Grubby, chubby fingers probing…’ seem to have run away on you a bit. I understand the enthusiasm driving them, but they need to be tamed (again, just a bit). Overall, a worthy contribution to the challenge and I look forward to reading more of your work.
Thank you Shywolf, as somebody who has come to poetry somewhat late, I know I have a lot to learn. I really appreciate the help and advice of more experienced writers.. I think because the picture brought back so many memories, it ran away with me a bit.
Good one! The concept of something hidden or lost has come across very well. I wrote a flash with the name ‘The child is the mother of the woman’ sometime ago. Although different from the thematic point of view, I could connect with the story. The information about finding the picture in the wallet of the father is so endearing and heart wrenching. Good work. Blessings.