Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the images.

Friday, February 11, 2011

For a Sleepless Child

(Child with a Dove by Marc Chagall, 1887-1985,
Russian-French artist)

Many of Chagall’s paintings have a gentle, dream-like quality about them, like happy memories of childhood.


If your room is ever too dark,
small one, look out through your window
up at the moon, that little bulb
left on for you in the sky’s black wall.
It will still be there come morning,
burning in a bright room of blue.

And if your room, restless one,
is much too still, listen to the clatter
of the freight, rattling past trestles
on the cool night breeze. Then follow
the moon to the side of the tracks,
where the train is a long, slow dream

you can jump on. An open car
is waiting for you — one step up —
you’re on! Now watch the dark towns, the lights
deep in the porches, and lie down
in the soft straw, and sleep till morning,
when the train chugs into station,

noisy with birds and wires overhead.

~ Peter Schmitt, American poet


Tabatha said...

Lovely! And having it paired with the Chagall works nicely.

Anonymous said...

I really love how this imagery really "jumps" out from the poem, I feel as if I'm there following the child as he ventures the world in the dark. Very well written.