To a Child in Heaven

By Richard Emil Braun b. 1934
You perished, in a toyland, of surprise;   
and only I am here to bury you
in dessicated tulip tips and eyes
of broken diadie-dolls. Poor pink, poor blue!

Will you be grown when I’m in Heaven too?   
Will length of death have turned you Classical   
like old Bisque faces, keen and sainted view,   
pearl on your breast, pearl-pointed linen shawl?

No, you’ll still have your flowers with no stem,   
and harp, clear stringed, the blur of La Boheme.   
You’ll heap upon that Mansion’s mantlepiece   
impossible plush animal creations,
and pout the pillared City’s aberrations.
You rest a Classic, but of Wedgewood’s Greece.

Richard Emil Braun, “To a Child in Heaven” from Children Passing. Copyright © 1962 by Richard Emil Braun. Used by permission of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin.

Source: Children Passing (University of Texas Press, 1962)

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Poet Richard Emil Braun b. 1934


Subjects Time & Brevity, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death, Youth

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Elegy


Translator, editor, and poet Richard Emil Braun’s collections of poetry include Companions to Your Doom (1961), Bad Land (1970), The Foreclosure (1972), Last Man In (1990), and The Snow Man Is No One (2001). Braun has translated Antigone by Sophocles (1973, 1989) and Rhesos by Euripedes (1992). He is a professor emeritus of Classics at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death, Youth


Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Elegy

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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