Margaret Atwood

(18 November 1939 / Ottawa, Ontario)

A Sad Child - Poem by Margaret Atwood

You're sad because you're sad.
It's psychic. It's the age. It's chemical.
Go see a shrink or take a pill,
or hug your sadness like an eyeless doll
you need to sleep.

Well, all children are sad
but some get over it.
Count your blessings. Better than that,
buy a hat. Buy a coat or pet.
Take up dancing to forget.

Forget what?
Your sadness, your shadow,
whatever it was that was done to you
the day of the lawn party
when you came inside flushed with the sun,
your mouth sulky with sugar,
in your new dress with the ribbon
and the ice-cream smear,
and said to yourself in the bathroom,
I am not the favorite child.

My darling, when it comes
right down to it
and the light fails and the fog rolls in
and you're trapped in your overturned body
under a blanket or burning car,

and the red flame is seeping out of you
and igniting the tarmac beside your head
or else the floor, or else the pillow,
none of us is;
or else we all are.

Comments about A Sad Child by Margaret Atwood

  • (1/12/2019 8:45:00 AM)

    it is a bit depressing (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bhagabat Prasad Hotta (10/30/2018 11:08:00 PM)

    Go happy forget the sad moments. God is always with us. (Report) Reply

  • (9/24/2018 12:59:00 PM)

    this poem is very depressing and it sucks (Report) Reply

    (9/24/2018 1:01:00 PM)

    you're gayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  • (9/11/2018 4:24:00 AM)

    'Well, all children are sad
    but some get over it.
    Count your blessings. Better than that,
    buy a hat. Buy a coat or pet.
    Take up dancing to forget' i love this verse, soothing relief. visit http: //
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/20/2018 5:43:00 AM)

    Even the sweetness of the voice didnt justify the beauty of the poem. (Report) Reply

  • (7/17/2018 1:10:00 AM)

    I think it is really sad beacuse soon I am leaving my foster career and foster family to go to another foster home and I no how it fells to leave someone you love I'm going this apsatarday it's so early I onlzpy just found out yesterday after school it was a big shocked I was crying my eyes out I'm do heart broken enside by hollyrose (Report) Reply

  • (7/11/2018 3:46:00 PM)

    Wow, the voice really does not go with the poem xD (Report) Reply

  • (6/20/2018 7:52:00 AM)

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (Report) Reply

  • (6/19/2018 6:41:00 AM)

    wat a poem it was touchingand enjoyable.............wat is specific not complicated (Report) Reply

  • Roxanne Herrera (6/11/2018 3:37:00 PM)

    https:m.poemhunter.compoemi-cant-be-sad check out my poems please ill really appreciate it. (Report) Reply

  • (6/8/2018 4:49:00 PM)

    kool.................... (Report) Reply

  • (6/6/2018 2:49:00 PM)

    well it sounds so realistic, but great show for showing your talent out here, but waiting for mines to be published as well..... (Report) Reply

  • (5/23/2018 4:05:00 AM)

    Scary and boring
    I did not find this interesting
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/14/2018 1:50:00 PM)

    i relate to this so much. i literally do anything to forget about my problems and mt sadness now adays. thank you margaret atwood for this amazing piece. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (5/4/2018 3:02:00 AM)

    We see sadness dealt a realistic blow. (Report) Reply

  • (4/30/2018 1:23:00 PM)

    This makes me a bit more depressed! (Report) Reply

    (5/14/2018 1:48:00 PM)

    report her she needs reported this is highly offensive and it needs to be gone spam the report button.

  • (4/4/2018 11:01:00 PM)

    I lost my grandma to night because of cancer (Report) Reply

  • (3/27/2018 1:20:00 PM)

    i lost my cat that sat on the mat (Report) Reply

  • (3/16/2018 11:55:00 AM)

    Aww that is nice poem (Report) Reply

  • (3/15/2018 10:58:00 PM)

    We build the cathedrals
    , , ,
    But the majority of my people have not place to rest
    (Report) Reply

Read all 75 comments »

# 83 poem on top 500 Poems

User Rating:
3,8 / 5 ( 113 votes ) 68

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: sad, fog, car, children, child, red, sleep, sun, light, dance

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, April 6, 2015

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]