“We Are Masters at Childhood”: Time and Agency in Poetry by, for, and about Children
This essay considers a selection of poetry by, for, and about children in order to explore representations of time and agency. Reading poems across contexts of writers’ age-related social positions and audiences can illuminate poets’ strategies for representing children’s agency in and over time, since representations of time are infused with adult-child power relations. Only poems written by young people conveyed a conception of temporal agency that encompassed characters’ experiences of time as children. The essay concludes by proposing a notion of children’s temporal standpoints that incorporates agency at the levels of action and social role.