When we grow up

Throughout research for our piece we have come across poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Not only are these appropriate because the statue around the cathedral is one of our stop off points on the map, but the poem we have found also corresponds with our theme  of looking at the world through the perspective of a child. Tennyson has written a poem called ‘Cradle Song’:

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till thy little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till thy little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.

(Tennyson, 1933, 5)

This has led us to discuss the oppression we are sometimes felt as children. Childhood is supposed to be a time of freedom but often and especially in modern times children don’t have the childhood freedom they perhaps should. The poem talks of a ‘birdie’ who wants to fly away but his mother insists he stays until he is stronger, this has led us to propose a new stance on our walk: we want to instil the freedom on our audience that a child should have, we want them to leave their bags (coats if they wish) and give them ultimate freedom to be alone with their thoughts and explore the grounds like they never have before. The idea that they download the track onto their phone is so maybe in the future they may stumble across it and it should take them back to that freedom felt by them as they participate in our tour.

Watson Bain, A. (1933) A poetry book for boys and girls. Cambridge: University Press.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *