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.
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?