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?


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...


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


kathi said...

Okay, that's priceless.