Innocence

(When We Still Remembered Paradise)

Christopher Morley (1890 – 1957)

The greatest poem ever known
Is the one that poets have outgrown:
The poetry, innate, untold,
Of being only 4 years old.

Still young enough to be a part
Of Nature’s great impulsive heart,
Born comrade of bird, beast, and tree
And unselfconscious as the bee—

And yet with lovely reason skilled
Each day a new paradise to build;
Elate explorer of each sense,
Without dismay, without pretense!

In your unstained transparent eyes
There is no conscience, no surprise:
Life’s queer conundrums you accept,
Your strange divinity still kept.

And Life, that sets all things in rhyme,
May make you poet, too, in time—
But there were days, O tender elf,
When you were Poetry itself! 

This poem could be interpreted as an ode to Oneness. Morley seems to be saying that children in their innocence are still connected to and influenced by the energy of the Implicate Order. The natural joy of the present moment is beautifully demonstrated by children who have only begun to construct their survival strategy and in that process sink more and more deeply into the unconsciousness characterized by life in P-B.

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References and notes are available for this essay.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.

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