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

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children

(The Little Parisian by Willy Ronis, 1910-2009,
French photographer)

As a youth, Willy Ronis studied music and composition. He wanted to become a violinist. Those plans had to change when his father became ill and he had to take charge of his father’s photographic studio. But his love of classical music stayed with him and infused his photography with “the taste I have for composition, particularly counterpoint. Many of my photographs are taken from above, either looking down or up, three planes in one image, like three different melodies in a fugue which work together to give the piece structure and harmony.”


They will not be the same next time. The sayings
so cute, just slightly off, will be corrected.
Their eyes will be more skeptical, plugged in
the more securely to the worldly buzz
of television, alphabet, and street talk,
culture polluting their gazes’ pure blue.
It makes you see at last the value of
those boring aunts and neighbors (their smells
of summer sweat and cigarettes, their faces
like shapes of sky between shade-giving leaves)
who knew you from the start, when you were zero,
cooing their nothings before you could be bored
or knew a name, not even your own, or how
this world brave with hellos turns all goodbye.

~ John Updike (1932-2009), American poet, novelist, and critic


J. Spang said...

This poem is beautiful and captures the true essence of a pure child. It reminds the reader of the beauty that they process before they are tainted by the forces of the world. I found the last stanza to be very moving. Most children do not understand the meaning or even the concept of good bye until they have grown and matured. They go about their days naive and innocent, without a negative thought ever crossing their mind.

Rita Mendes said...

This poem is very touching because I have a little boy and I can identify with the message that the author is trying to deliver. Being a child is a wonderful part of our lives, but unfortunatelly we all grow up and must go through life's experiences that bring lots of joy, but also a lot of pain and suffering that is necessary to makes us grow and bocome a more mature person. When we grow up, we trully understand how people comes and goes from our lives and the impression they leave on us.