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

  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (5/20/2020 3:42:00 PM)

    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. very fine poem. tony(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Britte NinadBritte Ninad (3/4/2020 3:29:00 AM)

    with the ribbon
    and the ice-cream smear,
    and said to yourself in the bathroom,
    I am not the favorite child.

    sadistic note(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (3/1/2020 4:09:00 AM)

    great poem penned///

    let's go forget the sorrow
    we the maker
    we savior
    our life, our world
    let's come the good morrow(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • James odhiambo (1/28/2020 2:41:00 PM)

    Count thy blessings and stop sulking(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Lifa Netmail (7/25/2019 12:56:00 PM)

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    2 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • ritumoni das (7/22/2019 11:47:00 AM)

    wonderful poem(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Wufekepel Maillist (7/18/2019 12:06:00 PM)

    ᴍʏ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ᴘᴀʏᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ᴡᴀs ғᴏʀ 15000 ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀs… ᴀʟʟ ɪ ᴅɪᴅ ᴡᴀs sɪᴍᴘʟᴇ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ᴡᴏʀᴋ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴄᴏᴍғᴏʀᴛ ᴀᴛ ʜᴏᴍᴇ ғᴏʀ 3-5 ʜᴏᴜʀs/ᴅᴀʏ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪ ɢᴏᴛ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜɪs ᴀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ɪ ᴅɪsᴄᴏᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ ᴏᴠᴇʀ
    ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴘᴀɪᴅ ᴍᴇ ғᴏʀ ɪᴛ 95-500 ʙᴜᴄᴋs ᴇᴠᴇʀʏ ʜᴏᴜʀ… ᴛʀʏ ɪᴛ ʏᴏᴜʀsᴇʟғ.. http: //www.giftprofit.com.Already ReportedReply

    3 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (6/24/2019 3:57:00 AM)

    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.

    great sad10++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++x100000000000000000000(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Bully Killer (5/15/2019 12:03:00 AM)

    Some real intellectuals in here. The only words you can say gay fat little punk in denial transgender kids.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • ill beat you with a stick (4/22/2019 1:37:00 PM)

    GOD HATES FAGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSAlready ReportedReply

    13 person liked.
    27 person did not like.
  • Depressed Person (4/8/2019 7:24:00 PM)

    The voice sounds REALLY creepy (the video)
    The poem is great though
    So moving and touching
    : 3(Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • stephanie (2/6/2019 4:29:00 PM)

    i love this poem [3 keep writing(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • tomdd (1/12/2019 8:45:00 AM)

    it is a bit depressing(Report)Reply

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

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

    9 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • brady wahl (9/24/2018 12:59:00 PM)

    this poem is very depressing and it sucksAlready ReportedReply

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

    you're gayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    7 person liked.
    18 person did not like.
  • ijeoma (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: //www.unn.edu.ng/(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • PlainJohn (8/20/2018 5:43:00 AM)

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

    4 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Hollyrose (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

    Someone(2/3/2019 6:34:00 PM)

    I don't know you, but I love you and I promise there's beauty too, and you're beautiful

    10 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Write your name (7/11/2018 3:46:00 PM)

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

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Jesus (6/20/2018 7:52:00 AM)

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
Read all 88 comments »

A Sad Child Score Card

User Rating:
3,8 / 5 (118 votes)80



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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


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