Our teacher told us one day he would leave
And sail across a warm blue sea
To places he had only known from maps,
And all his life had longed to be.
The house he lived in was narrow and grey
But in his mind's eye he could see
Sweet-scented jasmine clinging to the walls,
And green leaves burning on an orange tree.
He spoke of the lands he longed to visit,
Where it was never drab or cold.
I couldn't understand why he never left,
And shook off the school's stranglehold.
Then halfway through his final term
He took ill and never returned,
And he never got to that place on the map
Where the green leaves of the orange trees burned.
The maps were redrawn on the classroom wall;
His name was forgotten, it faded away.
But a lesson he never knew he taught
Is with me to this day.
I travel to where the green leaves burn
To where the ocean's glass-clear and blue,
To all those places my teacher taught me to love
But which he never knew.
Brian Patten's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Geography Lesson by Brian Patten )
- Awakening, Dipankar Sadhukhan
- Ours, Neela Nath
- Abstinence, Angela K Brown
- It Makes You Sad, mary douglas
- Let light be, hasmukh amathalal
- People of the Fourth World, Dipankar Sadhukhan
- Rising Evil, SREEJITH KULAPARAMBIL
- Orphan, Dipankar Sadhukhan
- Verbum Caro, Translation of Pierre Emman.., T (no first name) Wignesan
- ''Heartbeat'', Patricia Grantham
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- Heather Burns
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(15 April 1958)