Childhood Language – by Jack Little


I ask you for translations of “chrysalis”,
of “metamorphosis” – but forget these words
of other adults in an instant.

We carry language in the sea-smoothed rocks, elastic bands
and safety clips the pocket treasures in scruffy grey shorts
the adventure tools that bind us to the childhood awe
of the smell of holiday-wet grass, and the summer butterflies
and moths we caught and kept in jars.

How do you translate this feeling into action?
Add to my vocabulary, I’ll voice it out loud
I’ll write it all down,   remember.





Jack Little (b. 1987) is a British-Mexican poet, editor and translator based in Mexico City. He is the author of ‘Elsewhere’ (Eyewear, 2015) and is the founding editor of The Ofi Press. He was the poet in residence at The Heinrich Böll Cottage on Achill Island in the west of Ireland in July 2016. @JLittleMexico

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