A Discussion on the Poem ‘The Keeper of the Poor Boy of Wood’ By Joshua David

A Discussion on the poem The Keeper of The Poor Boy of Wood By Joshua David


The literal interpretation is about a coo-coo style clock that has a small wooden boy inside it. On the hour, every hour, the boy must have prepared a small speech or sermon which he is able to come out and say in the brief moments that the clock or ‘keeper’ allows.

Even during these short moments that the boy is free, he is forced to shout over the chiming roars and cries of the Keeper to even be heard. The speaker is pleading with the Keeper to set the boy free.

The metaphoric parallel here is in reference to my life. I am the clock, I am the keeper, always running, never stopping. Inside me, there is a part that continually thinks up imaginative stories (the wooden boy) Every hour of every day there is that part of me, yet I constantly stress about the task of keeping time, keeping my schedule, keeping with my responsibilities and daily duties. I only let the imaginative part of me out for brief seconds in the day, and even then, my imagination must shout over all the other things going on in my life.

And it never stops, so I must pull the wooden boy (my imagination) back in and keep him close to my heart. Where he continues to dream up new ideas.

There is also that part of me that wills the keeper to let the boy go,

‘Release him down, release him down’ I say, but we see in the context before that, that the keeper is the part which wears the crown. So nothing will change until the keeper changes…

You have these same parts, the keeper, the poor wooden boy, the voice of the speaker…

What wonders does your wooden boy dream up?

Are you hearing him? Or are your roaring chimes and the hands of the keeper preventing him from being heard?

Perhaps we should all listen to the will of the  speaker within us which calls out,

‘Release him down! Release him down!’


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