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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matthew Zapruder
Matthew Zapruder
Matthew Zapruder is the author of several books of poetry including, Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon Press, 2010)....
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FURTHER READING
Poems About Childhood
"Out, Out—"
by Robert Frost
Don't Let Me Be Lonely [There was a time]
by Claudia Rankine
A Boy Juggling a Soccer Ball
by Christopher Merrill
A child said, What is the grass?
by Walt Whitman
Another Country
by Ryan Teitman
anyone lived in a pretty how town
by E. E. Cummings
Babylon
by Robert Graves
Because I cannot remember my first kiss
by Roger Bonair-Agard
Birches
by Robert Frost
Block City
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Blur
by Andrew Hudgins
Childhood is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
deer & salt block
by Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Early Memory
by January Gill O'Neil
Fern Hill
by Dylan Thomas
Fifteen, Maybe Sixteen Things to Worry About
by Judith Viorst
For Some Slight I Can't Quite Recall
by Ross Gay
From the Lives of My Friends
by Michael Dickman
Giraffes
by Kimiko Hahn
Going Down Hill on a Bicycle
by Henry Charles Beeching
In the Waiting Room
by Elizabeth Bishop
Jabberwocky
by Lewis Carroll
Lullaby in Blue
by Betsy Sholl
My Aunts
by Meghan O'Rourke
My Bright Aluminum Tumblers
by Michael Ryan
Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
by William Wordsworth
Pirate Story
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Playgrounds
by Laurence Alma-Tadema
Pledge
by Elizabeth Powell
Poem for You
by David Shapiro
Recuerdo
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Solar system bedsheets
by Sarah Vap
The Children's Hour
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Gaffe
by C. K. Williams
The Lamb
by William Blake
The Portrait
by Stanley Kunitz
The Retreat
by Henry Vaughan
The Swing
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Tower
by W. B. Yeats
They Call This
by C. K. Williams
To My Best Friend's Big Sister
by Ross Gay
Untitled [The child thought it strange]
by Richard Meier
Untitled [You mustn't swim till you're six weeks old]
by Rudyard Kipling
We Are Seven
by William Wordsworth
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My Childhood

 
by Matthew Zapruder

the orange ball arcs perfectly into the orange hoop

making a sound like a drawer closing

you will never get to hold that

I am here and nothing terrible will ever happen

across the street the giant white house full of kids

turns the pages of an endless book

the mother comes home and finds the child animal sleeping

I left my notebook beside the bed

the father came home and sat and quietly talked

one square of light on the wall waiting patiently

I will learn my multiplication tables

while the woman in the old photograph looks in a different direction
About this poem:
"Often I'll start poems by handwriting in a notebook, just mostly illegible nonsense, proto-notes, trying to latch on to one single 'fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery' (Keats) that I can move forward with. In this case I wrote down some lines, in a kind of distracted trance, and when I went back to them later, was quite surprised to realize they were a complete finished poem. That's only happened once or twice to me, so when I have that impression, I take it seriously, though it bothers my petit-bourgeois sense that something is only worthwhile if it has been 'worked on.' The title immediately came to me, I felt self-conscious about it, because it has a bit of a grandiose or summative quality, but it also seemed like the right balance between driftiness in the body of the poem and explicitness in the title. I guess I knew what I was writing about without knowing it, and the title just says it. The title plus poem felt personally inevitable, and out of my hands."


—Matthew Zapruder






Copyright 2013 by Matthew Zapruder. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on September 24, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
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