Illustration Credit: Ben Smith
The World Clown Association is up in arms.
A recent outbreak of anti-social behaviour, in various countries, by people dressed as clowns is tarnishing their professional image. (This doesn’t include the ones in the British Parliament, or over in the USA, currently involved in the Clinton / Trump Circus.)
These outbreaks are worrying me. I have always held a close affection for clowns. It stems from my childhood days watching them running around the circus throwing buckets of confetti at unsuspecting audiences.
Clowns first appeared in the Fifth dynasty of ancient Egypt and, through time, have provided much material for writers and poets. Fool characters named Clown appear in Shakespeare’s Othello and A Winter’s Tale. Dame Edith Sitwell’s, Clown Houses and Vachel Lindsay’s, The Angel and the Clown, are famous examples of poetry with clowns as the focus. Perhaps the most famous Clown poem is, A Clown’s Prayer, the writer unknown.
“As I stumble through this life,
Help me to create more laughter than tears,
Dispense more happiness than gloom,
Spread more cheer than despair.
Never let me become so indifferent,
That I will fail to see the wonder
In the eyes of a child,
Or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.
Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
Make them happy, and forget momentarily,
All the unpleasantness in their lives.
And in my final moment,
May I hear you whisper:
“When you made My people smile,
You made Me smile.”
The Clown’s Prayer has become the mantra for clowns, comedians and performers worldwide. The verses provide wonderful words to carry into any day.
Do you have any poetic thoughts or stories to share about Clowns?
I would love to hear them.