sun and oranges: where children and poetry meet


  • beatriz fabiana olarieta UERJ - Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro


criança, poesia, tempo, linguagem.


By inquiring into the provocative proximity between the words of some children (as recorded in Pedro Bloch’s Dictionary of Child Humor) and the words of a poet (Pablo Neruda’s, in The Book of Questions), this essay explores childhood as a dimension of human existence that escapes from the chronological vision of time and from the language captured by such logic. In this work we show how time and language work to stabilize experience, and how childhood breaks with the norms that habitually order the world they inhabit. By provoking a destabilization and entering into an inaugural dimension, childhood inhabits children (but not only them, and not all of them) and poetry opens an opportunity for the creation of new meanings, bringing us into contact with the multiplicity and the movement that inhabits the world. To think ourselves is necessarily to think ourselves in time; there is no possible experience outside of time. On the other hand, the possibilities or impossibilities of our experience depend on the way we understand time. Childhood is often considered as a transitional step that will constitute the past from which we, adults, came. By another, analogous reflex, we adults tend to transform childhood into a future promise of our species. In seeking an understanding that escapes from this dualistic perspective, we present here the childhood of time as a becoming that exceeds the child’s body and penetrates the body of an old poet. On the other hand, our experience is also defined by language. The words we learn allow us not only to say, but also too see, to think, to understand things and to understand ourselves in a particular way. So, when we enter the language of childhood (beyond any age we may be), when we play with the words we have and force them to say new things, or play with word meanings in order to play with the way this world is thought and perceived, we play with the way this world presents itself, and the possibilities we have of acting in it



How to Cite

olarieta, beatriz fabiana. (2013). sun and oranges: where children and poetry meet. Childhood & Philosophy, 9(17), 11–23. Retrieved from