Friday, June 30, 2006

In a library with Amy...

in high school studying for a test, I copied this poem and through all my many moves I have kept it. It gets stuck in different boxes and different files but somehow I never lose track of it. It is by far one of my favorite poems and now I am going to share ~

Lament of a Normal Child by Phyllis McGinley

The school where I go is a modern school
    With numerous modern graces.
And there they cling to the modern rule
    Of "Cherish the Problem Cases!"
From nine to three
I develop Me.
    I dance when I'm feeling dancy,
Or everywhere lay on
With creaking crayon
    The colors that suit my fancy.
But when the commoner tasks are done,
    Deserted, ignored, I stand.
For the rest have complexes, everyone;
    Or a hyperactive gland.

Oh, how can I ever be reconciled
    To my hatefully normal station?
Why counldn't I be a Problem Child
    Endowed with a small fixation?
Why wasn't I trained for a Problem Child
    With an Interesting Fixation?

I dread the sound of the morning bell.
    The iron has entered my soul.
I'm a square little peg who fits too well
    In a square little normal hole.
For seven years
In Mortimer Sears
    Has the Oedipus angle fourished;
And Jessamine Gray,
She cheats at play
    Because she is undernourished.
The teachers beam on Frederick Knipe
    With scientific grattitude,
For Fred, they claim, is a perfect type
    Of the Antisocial Attitude.
And Cuthbert Jones has this temper riled
    In a way professors mention.
But I am a Perfectly Normal Child,
    So I don't get any attention.
I'm nothing at all but a Normal Child,
    So I don't get the least attention.

The others jeer as they pass my way.
    They titter without forbearance.
"He's Perfectly Normal," they shrilly say,
    "With Perfectly Normal parents."
I learn to read
With a normal speed.
    I answer when I'm commanded.
Infected antrums
Don't give me tantrums.
    I don't even write left-handed.
I build with blocks when they give me blocks,
    When it's busy hour, I labor.
And I seldom delight in landing socks
    On the ear of my little neighbor.

    I sit on the steps alone.
Why couldn't I be a Problem Child
    With a Case to call my own?
Why wasn't I born a Problem Child
    With a Complex of my own?

3 comments:

paco said...

Huh... that is an interesting little poem. I wonder how many people have had the same thought that they are normal and don't require "special" attention.

Anyway, thanks for sharing that. It was lovely.

NumberSix said...

Jess-

If it will make you feel better just know that you will always be a problem child to me :->

Dad

kathi said...

Okay, that's priceless.