The best school poems
Whether it’s Wordsworth recalling his schooldays in The Prelude, or Shakespeare’s Jaques describing the schoolboy ‘creeping like snail / Unwillingly to school’, poets have often written about school, whether fondly or critically, from the teacher’s or the pupil’s perspective. Here are ten of the finest poems about school and schooldays, teachers and pupils, classrooms and chalkboards.
Oliver Goldsmith, ‘The Village Schoolmaster’. Goldsmith’s depiction of a genial village schoolteacher, who is viewed by the locals as a kind of demigod, is not one that has lasted, alas, into the modern age. But when Goldsmith was writing, learning and literacy were looked up to, and the man who possessed their gifts was revered: ‘And still they gaz’d and still the wonder grew, / That one small head could carry all he knew.’ Read the rest of this entry