Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Poetic Journey - Growing up is optional

I have a friend that calls oil pastels just adult crayons. As a child I loved me little tin box of watercolors and carried them everywhere with me. And here I sit with just more expensive ones. Maybe there is something in the artist which never quite grows up. We hold within us the ability to play.


Childhood, sweet and sunny childhood,
With its careless, thoughtless air,
Like the verdant, tangled wildwood,
Wants the training hand of care.

See it springing all around us --
Glad to know, and quick to learn;
Asking questions that confound us;
Teaching lessons in its turn.

Who loves not its joyous revel,
Leaping lightly on the lawn,
Up the knoll, along the level,
Free and graceful as a fawn?

Let it revel; it is nature
Giving to the little dears
Strength of limb, and healthful features,
For the toil of coming years.

He who checks a child with terror,
Stops its play, and stills its song,
Not alone commits an error,
But a great and moral wrong.

Give it play, and never fear it --
Active life is no defect;
Never, never break its spirit --
Curb it only to direct.

Would you dam the flowing river,
Thinking it would cease to flow?
Onward it must go forever --
Better teach it where to go.

Childhood is a fountain welling,
Trace its channel in the sand,
And its currents, spreading, swelling,
Will revive the withered land.

Childhood is the vernal season;
Trim and train the tender shoot;
Love is to the coming reason,
As the blossom to the fruit.

Tender twigs are bent and folded --
Art to nature beauty lends;
Childhood easily is moulded;
Manhood breaks, but seldom bends.

David Bates

More poems from David Bates 

And Nicholas on Intelliblog has a poem by Blake for us.


  1. And sometimes it's fun to play with regular old crayolas as well...

  2. Yes, it is. I also have a collection of coloring books which I dearly love. And just Monday at the art store I bought a couple tubes of the water based oils. Want to try them on a practice canvas for possible use in expanses of one solid color.

    Well, that was my excuse. I really wanted to play with something new. The old toys were getting boring.

  3. to be grown-up, is just to know when to be serious. Not to not have fun, just like when we where kids. I love finding some new colors and other creative things. and experimenting with them. but then again, i may not be that grown-up.

  4. True... there's a part of us that never grows up. I always loved crayons as a child, and need to get some oil pastels, and chalk pastels too. Use to have some but gave them away on my travels. I'd also like to get some water soluble crayons too.

  5. What a wonderful poem! I've often been told I'm "childish" and I take it as a compliment!


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.