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Analysis of the Poem," Hey There Little Boy", by Hertha David.

Updated on July 10, 2020
Hertha David profile image

Hertha is a caring young woman that writes articles on various topics. This is article is entirely based on her own thoughts.


It is so heartbreaking to read the news headlines and it reads, " Men arrested for killing his girlfriend", or " Teenage boys found in possession of drugs". Men have become victims of crimes. They violate our women and children. They loose focus and drop out of school to become part of the streets and offcourse this endangers their futures.

It is about time that we begob to educate the boy-child just as how we educate the girl-child. The poem, " Hey There Little Boy", dents out a message to all the boys out there. So they understand how cold it is out there in the world, what they can expect and what they should do.

Hey There Little Boy!

Hey there little boy please run.

Please run as fast as you can.

Do not fear.

Do not be fooled.

They will decieve you with her breasts,

They will tell you to slaughter.

They will tell you to spit onto the streets,

All because they think this will make you man.

They will laugh at you when you cry,

They will laugh at you when you fail,

They will laugh at for treating her right,

They will laugh at you for the choices you make.

Again I repeat dear little boy please run.

Run while you still have the chance and learning.

But keep in mind; When you running stay focused.

When you running, run like a man with a vision.

The irony behind the tittle of the poem.

The tittle of the poem might appear straight forward but this is only before one reads the poem.

The tittle of the poem is," Hey There Little Boy!" It's a friendly tittle plus it is welcoming. Moreover, as you read the poem you will find that the message that the poet is trying to portray does not only go to little boys but to older men as well.

Depth and Detailed Analysis of the poem.

  • The tittle.

The tittle of the poem is," Hey There Little Boy". Just by reading the tittle of the poem one might think that the message that the poet is trying to portray only goes out to boys who are little. However, it does not. This message goes out to older men as well.

  • The paraphrase of the poem.

    In the first stanza, line one, the poets tone is friendly as she greats the little boy," Hey there...". And politely tells the little boy to," please run." Then in line two she describes the manner in which the little boy should run " fast as you can." She goes ahead and tells him not to "fear" and not to be "fooled", in line three and four.

    Moreover, in the second stanza, the poet tells the little boy on what to expect. In line five, the poet tells the little boy that he should expect to be decieve by "breasts". However, this is a figure of speech. The figure of speech in line five is a personification. A personification is used when one is trying to give human features or characteristics to non-humans. Breasts cannot decieve people only humans can. Furthermore, the poet used the word breast because he is referring to women and is trying to warn the little boy about women, toxic women. Women who would tell you to cheat on your wife, women who will offer you sex for money or the other way round. Moreover, in line six, the poet tells the little boy to expect people telling him to "slaughter", and not just animals but people. Such as his lover, his mother, his employer and so on because they have wronged him. In line seven, she tells the little boy to expect people to tell him to "spit onto the streets" and take note the streets are part of the environment and the environment needs to be conserved not disrespected. And finally, the poet concludes the poem with why "They" will tell the little boy to vomit such evil, "they think it will make you a man", which is obviously ridiculous.

    Furthermore, in stanza three the poet tells the little boy how people will treat him and how they would react to him. In line nine the poet says," They will laugh at you when you cry". Many traditions out there sipposu the idea that men do not cry however, they need to realise that men have feelings and emotions too. In line ten, the poet tells the little boy that "they will laugh...",at his failure. It could be his failure to school, his faufail to maintain a relationship and so forth. Moving on to line eleven, the poet tells the little boy that they will also "laugh" at him for "treating her right". The Owambo people for an example believe that when a men cooks for his wife or does laundry that he is inserted into the vagina of his wife as they believe that's not a men's place in the house. In line twelve, the poet tells the boy that people will also "laugh at the choicea" he makes. It can be choices on his sexuality or the way he chooses to dress up or hia career. I believe this stanza is more like motivation to the little boy. They poet is saying, people will aleays have something to say, they will always laugh and judge so do not pay attention to them. Pay attention to your goals.

    Finally, stanza four. It aims at telling the boy on what to do . In line thirteen, to keep on running, in line fourteen, to "run while he still has the chance", in line fifteen, to "keep in mind" that when he runs he should "stay focused", and in line sixteen, to run " like a man with a vision.

    The vision to be better and stay better. The vision of being successful. The vision of not causing harm but to built. The vision of love and resentment.

    •The tone of the poet.

    Overall, the tone of the poet is candid. As he is truthful to his audience and or readers and he is frank. He raises his opoopin in an open manner as well as in a benevolent tone.

What exactly is the poet telling you?

She is telling you to remind the boy-child about his value in your home and in your society before it's too late. She is telling you to not neglect the boy-child but to give him equal attention as to that of the girl-child. She is telling you that the life and future of the boy child is in serious danger. She is telling you that a girl-child will not be fully safe if the boy-child is not educated and groomed right. She is telling you to raise awareness for both the girl and boy child.

Why I chose this poem.

I am growing up in a society where I see young boys on the streets from the ages of fifteen selling sweets and airtime on the streets to earn a living. I see young boys too smoking all sorts of drugs as they find it cool to do so, plus it will lead them to making money. Meaning they are manipulated by fast money making schemes but they do not think of the consequences. I am growing up in a society where men go to the bars come back in the evening to come beat up his wife and his children. I am growing up in a society where men rape women and blame it on the way she dresses. I am growing up in a society where women manipulate men for money or for sex or simply for social status. I am growing up in a society where our streets and buildings are being vandalised by men.

But you know what I think enough is enough. I am educating my siblings and boys from my school on how to be better but it's not enough. I need all of us to do this. Let us fight for our men. They need attention too.


If my article has offended you in any manner or is unclear please do contact me. And if you have anything to add just hit the comment section.

I would truly appreciate your feedback on this article.

Thank you so much for reading.

© 2020 Hertha David


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    • Hertha David profile imageAUTHOR

      Hertha David 

      9 months ago from Windhoek, Namibia

      Thank you so much Ann. Your feedback is highly appreciated. Please do take care.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      9 months ago from SW England

      There is much food for thought here. I agree that both girls and boys should be brought up to respect each other and to understand why. The innocence of youth is precious. I like your emphasis on running like children love to do, in the sheer joy of the action itself. No one should take away their childhood and no one should treat them badly. Education is the key, for the boys and girls themselves and for the adults who should keep them safe and lead by good example. The poem is powerful.

      Thank you for following me.



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