Dogs Are Shakespearean, Children Are Strangers
Dogs are Shakespearean, children are strangers.
Let Freud and Wordsworth discuss the child,
Angels and Platonists shall judge the dog,
The running dog, who paused, distending nostrils,
Then barked and wailed; the boy who pinched his sister,
The little girl who sang the song from Twelfth Night,
As if she understood the wind and rain,
The dog who moaned, hearing the violins in concert.
—O I am sad when I see dogs or children!
For they are strangers, they are Shakespearean.
Tell us, Freud, can it be that lovely children
Have merely ugly dreams of natural functions?
And you, too, Wordsworth, are children truly
Clouded with glory, learned in dark Nature?
The dog in humble inquiry along the ground,
The child who credits dreams and fears the dark,
Know more and less than you: they know full well
Nor dream nor childhood answer questions well:
You too are strangers, children are Shakespearean.
Regard the child, regard the animal,
Welcome strangers, but study daily things,
Knowing that heaven and hell surround us,
But this, this which we say before we’re sorry,
This which we live behind our unseen faces,
Is neither dream, nor childhood, neither
Myth, nor landscape, final, nor finished,
For we are incomplete and know no future,
And we are howling or dancing out our souls
In beating syllables before the curtain:
We are Shakespearean, we are strangers.
Delmore Schwartz's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Dogs Are Shakespearean, Children Are Strangers by Delmore Schwartz )
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- Mother to Son, Langston Hughes
- I, Too, Langston Hughes
- Let America be America Again, Langston Hughes
- April Rain Song, Langston Hughes
- I Dream A World, Langston Hughes
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Life Is Fine, Langston Hughes
- Cross, Langston Hughes
Poem of the Day
- IN LIES! LIES THE WAY TO HELL, Michael P. Johnson
- La-di-da, Bill Galvin
- Labyrinth Of My Dream, Tony Adah
- Balance Your Soul, Lyn Paul
- A Happy and Sad Haiku, Merton Lee
- Plum blossoms, Wenjun Liu
- PH: Echo: Being At Choice, Brian Johnston
- I walked through your woods, Wenjun Liu
- Stray Reflection, Sunny Chopra
- Tagore Song (#13) When He comes to beg me, Tushar Ray