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Eden after
The story behind the poem

The poem is about my own childhood memories and the significance of their accuracy or otherwise. In my recollection, the time up to about the age of nine was one both of infinite discovery and possibility, and also endless enjoyment whatever the season or the weather. It was also a time when I remember feeling secure and loved and natural, without either guilt or hang-ups.

But then there were drawbacks. Sometimes I wanted things I couldn't have, or I was shouted at or punished - perhaps unjustly from my point of view. There must have been pain, too, and suffering from childhood illnesses, but this too has been softened in retrospect.

Selectivity probably also applies to myths which derive from folk memories of earlier ages. Most civilizations have their Golden Age or their Garden of Eden.

Just as people long to return to the long, pleasurable days and the security and innocence of childhood, so peoples look back with nostalgia to their past and believe it held all the good and none of the bad things in life.

by Damaris West

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