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(November 9 - 1937 / Liverpool / England)

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The Lesson

Chaos ruled OK in the classroom
as bravely the teacher walked in
the nooligans ignored him
his voice was lost in the din

'The theme for today is violence
and homework will be set
I'm going to teach you a lesson
one that you'll never forget'

He picked on a boy who was shouting
and throttled him then and there
then garrotted the girl behind him
(the one with grotty hair)

Then sword in hand he hacked his way
between the chattering rows
'First come, first severed' he declared
'fingers, feet or toes'

He threw the sword at a latecomer
it struck with deadly aim
then pulling out a shotgun
he continued with his game

The first blast cleared the backrow
(where those who skive hang out)
they collapsed like rubber dinghies
when the plug's pulled out

'Please may I leave the room sir? '
a trembling vandal enquired
'Of course you may' said teacher
put the gun to his temple and fired

The Head popped a head round the doorway
to see why a din was being made
nodded understandingly
then tossed in a grenade

And when the ammo was well spent
with blood on every chair
Silence shuffled forward
with its hands up in the air

The teacher surveyed the carnage
the dying and the dead
He waggled a finger severely
'Now let that be a lesson' he said

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Thursday, February 13, 2014


Read poems about / on: teacher, girl, today, silence, hair, lost, fire

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  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (4/6/2014 1:53:00 AM)

    The poem in its words of violent approach between the teacher and class students is beyond amusement to an ordinary mind like me and what is the exact definition is not known.

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (11/8/2013 2:12:00 AM)

    Omi gawd if such teachers we too had
    Survivors would amputees so be
    Whacked and scared so bad
    And yet go to classrooms with shields and guns
    Nay not to fight among-st ourselves
    But for such teachers who come so lethally armed!

    I welcome all ye poets reading this to my page too.........

  • Abdullah Al Shirawi (9/22/2013 9:49:00 AM)

    its time to reevaluate your teachas people

  • Vizard Dhawan (7/25/2013 4:37:00 AM)

    nothing can describe a classroom more than this poem

  • Dragon Crenshaw (10/29/2012 3:01:00 PM)

    This poem discribe my old classroom at my old school. I love it.

  • Dan Consoer (8/29/2012 8:28:00 PM)

    Seems an obvious point here. The teacher's name is life, the universe, everything, or whatever you like. Nothing can be learned, in the end. You can't learn *from* life, only in it. And then you're dead, and you're excused from every future exam.

  • Baru Gobira (7/25/2010 12:48:00 AM)

    It brought a big smile and I enjoyed it. Extraordinary thought. Your take makes the phrase ' If looks could kill ' graduate with grace to the highest level. May your tribe grow.-Baru Gobira

  • Martin Widjaja (7/24/2010 6:20:00 PM)

    In ‘The Lesson’, Mcgough attempts to contrast a teacher’s professional ethics with their actual human feelings, a surprising expose of a teachers most inner thoughts, when having to teach a rather unpleasant group of hormonally driven/influenced adolescents. He allows his inner feeling to manifest to a fantasy of revenge on academic vagrants. This is shown with the teacher taking authority without rules in the way he would like to use it, and a reversal of roles taking an unexpected and incongruent result. Overall, I think everyone is looking into the violence rather than the reason behind you. Genius poem really.

  • Bou Aliyya (7/17/2010 6:00:00 AM)

    As an ex-teacher, I salute you Mr McGoogh.

  • Yoonoos Peerbocus (5/29/2010 8:59:00 AM)

    fine...........................................................

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